Monday, June 14, 2010

Strawberry Lemon Parfaits

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When I hosted my Sunday Roast Pork Dinner for friends not too long ago, I wanted a quick dessert that would pair well with my menu and still be guest worthy. Parfaits are desserts that seem to have lost their appeal years ago but that didn't stop me from making these Strawberry Lemon Parfaits. These parfaits were the final course of my recent Sunday Roast Pork Dinner and was the perfect sweet ended to a delicious meal...

Strawberries and lemons make a delicious and refreshing combination in drinks and desserts. I used fresh strawberries which I macerated and made a homemade lemon curd. These were layered with crumbled sweet biscuits in a simple martini glass and topped with whipped cream. It's an easy, yet elegant dessert where you can use any fresh fruit and custard of your choice!

Strawberry Lemon Parfaits
original Joelen recipe
serves 6

6 sweet biscuits, split in half horizontally (recipe follows)
1 cup lemon curd (recipe follows)
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
3 tablespoons sugar
whipped cream (homemade or store bought whipped topping)


In a small bowl, roughly chop up the strawberries and toss with the sugar; set aside.

In a martini glass or your preferred serving dish, crumble the bottom halves of the biscuits, distributed evenly.

Place a heaping tablespoon (or two) of lemon curd over the crumbled biscuit in each glass. Top the lemon curd with a heaping tablespoon (or two) of strawberries in each glass.

Place the sweet cream biscuit tops over the lemon curd and dollop with whipped cream for garnish.


Sweet Cream Biscuits
(from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 23)
Makes about 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Serving: Ideally these biscuits should go from oven to table and be served with cold sweet butter.

Storing: You can keep the biscuits in a plastic bag overnight and give them a quick warm-up in the oven the next day, but you won't recapture their freshly made flakiness.


Lemon Curd
recipe from Cooks Illustrated, The New Best Recipe
1/3 cup juice from 2 lemons
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tablespoon heavy cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Heat the lemon juice in a small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk the eggs and yolk in a medium nonreactive bowl; gradually whisk in the sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon juice into the eggs, then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture registers 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer and is thick enough to cling to the back of the spoon, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cold butter until incorporated; stir in the cream, vanilla and salt, then pour the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a non reactive bowl. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until needed.


  • At first the curd will appear thin and soupy.
  • When the spatula leaves a clear trail in the bottom of the saucepan (which will quickly disappear), the curd is ready to come off the heat.
  • If the curd continues to cook, it will become too thick and pasty, and a spatula will leave a wide clear trail.

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