Sunday, April 8, 2012

Raspberry Parfait

As we drove to Houston to spend the weekend with my family (always a great time!), David responded to my question about “what do you want to do about…” with “I am a chameleon.  I am here to blend in this weekend.”  This dessert is chameleon-like as well.  It has served as a birthday dessert for said husband who does not eat dessert – I rationalized that it was essentially fruit and whipped cream.   Or as a great summer dessert when raspberries are at their peak.  Or in the winter when you crave a fruit dessert since grocery stores sell frozen raspberries (be sure to find the unsweetened kind, simply the fruit, no sugar added).  Or for Passover because there is no flour.

David’s chameleon-esque ways lasted about 30 hours when he declared last night “I want to leave by 11am on Sunday.”  Watching Sunday of the Masters is a religious experience for him.  He then proceeded to remind me of the time that he was invited to attend this golf tournament and I made him decline because we were co-hosting a wedding shower for my brother and his (then) bride.  I then counter-reminded him of the time that I allowed him to attend the 2005 National Championship game (UT vs USC – good guys won; sorry, Jolie and Robert) while leaving me with 10 day old twins and a 2 year old at home.  Valid point however we still left Houston by 11am today.

So try this year-round dessert for whenever you decide – it will work!  Happy Easter - Happy Passover - Happy Masters!

Barefoot Contessa refers to her version of this dessert as Eton Mess in her How Easy is That? cookbook.


Raspberry Parfait
1.      4 6-oz. (24 oz total) packages of fresh raspberries or an equal amount of unsweetened, frozen raspberries 
2.      1 C plus 3 T sugar
3.      1 T lemon juice
4.      1 ½ C heavy cream (canned whip cream works too but assemble right before serving as it seems to fall faster
5.      1 t pure vanilla extract
6.      4.5 oz (or so) package of meringue cookies (I found Spaan’s (vanilla) at Whole Foods or other groceries probably carry pre-made or in the bakery or you can make them from scratch)

Put half (or 12 oz) of raspberries, 1 C of sugar and 1 T lemon juice in a large sauté pan.  Crush the berries lightly with a fork, bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until syrupy.  Fold the remaining 12 ozs of raspberries into the hot mixture and refrigerate until cold. 

To make your own whipped cream, pour the heavy cream in a mixing bowl with wire attachment.  Beat the cream, 3 T of sugar and vanilla on medium-high until it forms firm peaks.  If it splatters, cover the mixer with a towel and peak periodically to make sure that it does not turn too firm, like whipped butter.

In a clear glass or clear plastic cup, alternate layering the raspberry mixture, whipped cream, meringue pieces, etc. until the glass is full.  Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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