Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Summer dessert

I thought I'd share my favorite summer dessert: berry parfait. I like this a lot because even though its mostly fruit, it still looks and tastes like dessert. And, of course, in the summer when you can get good, ripe berries at the local farmers markets and even the grocery stores, the fresh taste in heavenly. I also like this dessert because it takes very little time to prepare but it looks really fancy when served. So here goes:

  1. De-core and slice a bunch of strawberries. Put them in a mixing bowl along with a bunch of blueberries, sprinkle with 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar, and toss gently. Let them sit and macerate for at least 10 minutes so the berries and sugar produce their glaze.
  2. Place a spoonful of the berry mixture in the bottom of several Margarita glasses.
  3. Add a layer of whipped cream (either fresh or from a squirt can) or a dollop of Cool Whip.
  4. Add a layer of crumbled shortbread cookies.
  5. Add a larger spoonful (or two) of the berry mixture, to reach the rim of the glass. Optional: add a splash or two of Triple Sec.
  6. Top the berry mixture with more whipped cream, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Isn't that simple? You can even cut and macerate the berries ahead of time and keep in the fridge if you want, then assemble when guests arrive and you're ready to serve.

Of course you can substitute the shortbread cookies for something else if you can't find them or don't like them. Once I used crumbled blueberry scones and another time I used regular drop biscuits. Be sure to use something crisp or hard so you can crumble them. Do NOT use pound cake because then you're on the verge of turning your parfait into a trifle.

I really like serving this parfait in Margarita glasses because they have a nice, wide top. If you don't have Margarita glasses (oh, come now!) you can also use martini glasses. But I would NOT recommend using a narrow glass such as a pilsner because your ingredients may tend to slide down the inside of the glass on their way to the bottom, resulting in a messy look.

Enjoy your ripe summer fruits and look elegant while doing so, all without spending hours in the kitchen. Just my little gift to you.

Drag Queen name of the day: Greta Clue

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