Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lemon-Almond Crunch Parfaits with Berries

This has been one of those weeks that feels like it just couldn't have ended soon enough! I haven't been online at all in the past few days - not even to respond to work emails. I'm swamped with after school clubs.

So, yes, I know I promised the appetizer recipe. But it's finally sunny out and I feel like celebrating with a dish that's bright and springy.

Whenever we have dessert with my parents and cousin, the dairy in the dessert recipes has to go, as my cousin has an allergy. Bring in, then, the edible oil product known as Cool Whip.

Let me be perfectly honest here: while under just about all circumstances, I would reject Cool Whip, this recipe was so good that, not only did I not mind about there being Cool Whip, I actually preferred it with it. It was lighter and brightly lemony.

Lemon-Almond Crunch Parfait with Berries

(adapted from Canadian Living)


3/4 3/4cup cupwhipping cream (or 1 tub light Cool Whip)
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) apricot halves in light syrup , drained and quartered1 pint raspberries, blackberries or a mixture of both, rinsed and thoroughly dried

Lemon Curd:
3 egg yolks 3 3egg yolkegg yolks
1 egg 1 1eggeggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 1/2cup cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp granulated sugar 1 1tbsp tbspgranulated sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind 2 2tsp  (10 mL) finely grated lemon rind
1/2 cup lemon juice 1/2 1/2cup cupfresh (125 mL) lemon juice
1 pinch salt 1 1pinch pinchsalt

Almond Crunch:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 1/4cup cupall-purpose flour
2 tbsp large-flake rolled oats 2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) large-flake rolled oats
1 tbsp packed brown sugar 1 1tbsp (15 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter , cubed2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) unsalted butter, cubed
2 tbsp slivered almonds 2 2tbsp t (25 mL)slivered almonds


1. Almond Crunch: Preheat oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in almonds. Dump mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until mixture is golden and crisp. 

Do keep a close eye on it, because it will go from gorgeously brown to disastrously black in an instant.

2. Lemon Curd: In a heat proof bowl (you're going to be making a double boiler here, so choose your bowl appropriately), whisk together all lemon curd ingredients. Place over saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you have an instant read thermometer, it should read 160ºF. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, being sure to press wrap directly onto the surface of the curd. This will prevent a thick skin from forming.

3. To Assemble: Stir half the curd to break up. Mix in half the tub of Cool Whip. Stir to thoroughly incorporate. Gently fold in remaining half of the tub (alternatively, whip the cream and divide in half and proceed according to above directions).

Divide berries between 8 serving glasses. Top with lemon mixtures. Sprinkle with almond mixture. Serve with long handled spoons!


Locavore Family said...

What a beautiful place setting and dishes. It feels like you're eating dinner with the Queen.

The dessert looks fantastic. :)

Alyson said...

It's my parents' china and crystal, and I totally agree. I love the formality of it! Formal china seems to have gone the way of the dogs, but I really love it. There's something so wonderful about pulling it out on feast days and special occasions that reinforces the idea that the day is an important one.

It was a totally addictive dessert. I may, or may not, have had seconds...

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