“Some of the sweetest berries grow among the sharpest thorns.”
~ Scottish Proverb
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved parfaits. They’re so pretty with their layers of deliciousness! What’s even better about this dessert is that it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast, and fancy enough to be served at Christmas Dinner.
This is such an easy recipe that kids can make it. (Making parfaits is fun.) If you’re letting them help, give them a small personal glass where they can make a ‘test’ parfait to eat in advance, like a chef’s reward. :)
Ingredients to serve 6 or 4 BIG serves:
2 heaped cups of mixed fresh or frozen berries, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar/superfine sugar or natvia, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cornflour (corn starch), 2 cups of your favourite yoghurt, 4 tablespoons of roasted coconut chips or toasted flaked almonds.
Glasses for parfaits – the choice is yours, but make sure your spoons can reach comfortably to the bottom of the glass, or there will be tears…
Today I’ve made some breakfast parfaits in short glasses, and some dessert parfaits in martini glasses. My berry mix included strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. My yoghurt? Greek passionfruit yoghurt for a little summery zip, and a parfait made with coconut milk yoghurt for a friend who is vegan.
If you’re dairy intolerant do try the coconut yoghurt or a good soy yoghurt.
Sort through your berries and wash. (Not necessary of they are frozen.) Drain, and chop any large berries into smaller pieces if required. Tip into a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar.
Squash the berries down a little with a potato masher to release some of their juice.
Heat and stir for a few minutes so that the berries have broken down a little and the sugar has been dissolved. There should still be some whole berries in your pot.
Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon or so of cold water until it is smooth and milky. Dump into saucepan with berries and stir over medium heat for another minute until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken more as it cools.
At this stage you can put mixture in an airtight container and keep in fridge up to one week if necessary. The berry mix will taste sweet and summery. It is also divine when spooned over ice-cream or ladled into little pastry cases with a dollop of cream and a few shavings of chocolate on top.
To assemble your parfaits:
Have your glasses ready, along with some clean spoons.
Start with a layer of berry mixture, placing it carefully so that it doesn’t drip down the sides of the glass. It’s better to work with a little at a time than big messy spoonfuls. If you do get a smudge, wipe it off with a piece of paper towel.
Now add a layer of yoghurt, again working slowly and neatly.
Another layer of berries, and then keep layering until you get to the top of the glass.
Finish with a few whole berries or a splodge of yoghurt with a little more of the berry mix spooned into the centre of the splodge.
If you’re not ready to serve these yet, pop them back in the fridge.
Just before serving, sprinkle your toasted coconut chips or almond flakes over the top for a delicious crunch. The texture of the soft fruit and yoghurt with the crunchy bits is wonderful. Enjoy!