“Parfait” is a french word that literally means “perfect”.
Therefore, the name of this dessert is “perfect”. One would assume this dessert to be arrogant and narcissistic. That may or may not be the case, but when you experience the medley of tastes and textures in your mouth that a well thought-out parfait has to offer, it all makes perfect sense.
Yes, indeed, this dessert can be perfect.
I have been called out in the past when using the word “perfect” as an adjective. I’ve literally noticed those around me become slightly uncomfortable when such word is being used to describe the weather, a job, a day, a…noun!
Such people are quick to state that nothing in this world is perfect. That may be true (or not, I’m still pondering and questioning that myself), but certain moments in life certainly do seem like pure perfection: a massage after standing in the kitchen for 9 straight hours seems like the perfect remedy to the aggravating stiffness that takes over a large part of the body, holding my niece in my arms for the first while looking into her little pretty eyes was a perfect sensation, laughing with your friends/family to the point of tears…PERFECT, cuddling with your other half while watching a movie under the covers seems pretty perfect to me (but perhaps not to you).
The meaning of the word “perfect” varies from person to person. What does “perfect” mean to you?
What is perfect to you? Perhaps this berry and pastry cream parfait is!
Ingredients for Berry & Pastry Cream Parfait:
strawberry vanilla cookies
Ingredients for Strawberry Vanilla Cookies:
4 oz butter
2 oz sugar
1 oz honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 vanilla bean
6 oz flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C freeze dried strawberries, grinded or finely chopped
egg white wash
About 1/4 C – 1/2 C granulated sugar poured into a shallow bowl or container
Procedure/Recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Cookies:
1. Combine butter, sugar, and honey in a mixer and cream on high speed until butter is light and fluffy.
2. Meanwhile, split vanilla bean down the middle and scrape all of the seeds with the back edge of a pairing knife. Add vanilla beans and vanilla extract to butter/sugar/honey and continue to mix until both types of vanilla are well incorporated into mixture.
3. Mix flour and salt together and gradually add it to butter mixture until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Turn mixer off.
4. Fold in freeze dried strawberries until they’re evenly distributed into dough.
5. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into thick barrels and cut barrels in half. Work each piece so that each barrel has ¾” – 1” in diameter.
6. Roll each barrel into parchment paper and chill for about 30 minutes- 1 hour.
7. After dough has been chilled, apply egg white all over barrel and gently roll barrel in granulated sugar so that entire surface of barrel is covered in sugar.
8. Cut ends off barrel and cut slices that are approximately ½” thick.
9. Bake cookies at 350 F for about 15 – 18 minutes.
Ingredients for Berry Coulis:
3/4 C frozen strawberries
1 C frozen blueberries
1/4 C sugar
2 T lemon juice
Procedure/Recipe for Berry Coulis:
1. Place strawberries, blueberries, and sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until mixture is brought to a simmer and sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
2. Add lemon juice and stir.
3. Place berries/sugar/lemon mixture in a blender and puree.
4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
Ingredients for Pastry Cream:
16 oz milk
1 vanilla bean
4 oz yolks
4 oz sugar
5 T cornstarch
Procedure/Recipe for Pastry Cream:
1. Pour milk and vanilla bean into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let the bean steep for 15 minutes (saucepan should be covered during steeping time). Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into milk. Discard pod.
2. Bring the milk to a quick simmer once again. This should happen quickly, since the milk should already be relatively warm/hot after steeping the vanilla bean.
3. Meanwhile, combine yolks and sugar into a bowl. Sift cornstarch over the bowl and whisk everything together.
4. Once the tempered milk has been brought to a simmer, temper the yolk/sugar/cornstarch mixture by slowly pouring hot milk over mixture while whisking continuously. Pour mixture back into pot and continue to cook over low-medium heat. Whisk mixture continuously and bring to a boil. Cook anywhere between 5 minutes and up to 10 minutes, just until cream is smooth, thick, shiny, and sweet.
5. Sieve pastry cream over a bowl that has been covered with plastic wrap. Cover pastry cream with plastic wrap and refrigerate until later use.
Ingredients for Créme Chantilly:
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 T 10x
Procedure/Recipe for Créme Chantilly:
1. Whip heavy cream on medium speed and continue whipping until stiff peaks are just about to form.
2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and finish whipping by hand until stiff peaks form.
FINALLY-Time to put it all together!
1. Break strawberry vanilla cookies into chunks and place cookie chunks on the bottom of parfait cup.
2. Place a layer of fresh blueberries over cookie crumbles so that they evenly cover the cookie layer.
3. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of berry coulis over the blueberries.
4. Top layer with a layer of pastry cream. Repeat layering once more.
5. Pipe créme chantilly over the top and top everything with a fresh blueberry and additional berry coulis if desired.