Summer is upon us, and with it the need for lighter meals and cool refreshing desserts. For many this means ice cream, gelato, sorbet or a float, all of which are wonderful indeed, but to me it means fruit, preferably with a bit of a kick.
This recipe stemmed partially from the fact that I have quite a bit of frozen fruit in my freezer that I don’t want to move to our new house over the following week, and the fact that my wife’s dietitian stated plainly that she needed more fruits in her diet. Faced with those two pieces of knowledge, there was of course only one clear choice…
For my French or British readers, this may not seem to be the correct term, but here I refer to the American Parfait, the definition of which is as follows:
American Parfait, from Wikipedia
An American parfait is a dessert normally made by layering cream or ice cream or flavored gelatin dessert with other ingredients such as granola, nuts, yogurts, syrups, fresh fruit, or whipped topping. A parfait is normally made in a tall clear glass making all layers visible. The term parfait traditionally refers to an ice-cream treat similar to a sundae.
Whatever you choose to call this particular dish, I’m willing to bet you’ll call it fantastic when you try it, so I’ll move directly to the heart of the matter, the recipe:
Macerated Berry Parfait
1 bowl (approx. 1 1/2 cup, or 1/3 package) frozen mixed berries.
1 tsp sugar.
1/2 cup white wine (for additional options see below)
Nonfat whipped topping (or whipped cream, or whipped topping, your choice.)
Place frozen berries, sugar and wine in bowl at room temperature until thawed, (approximately 20 minutes), gently folding the mixture occasionally.
Add 1/3 of the mixture to bottom of wine glass or sundae dish. Place a thin layer of whipped topping over berries and repeat process until all but one of each type of berries are used. To finish, place a small amount of whipped topping over entire dish and garnish with remaining berries.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
For this particular dessert, I used a Cabernet Blanc, but there are many other options for macerating the berries. If making the dish for children or guests who prefer non-alcoholic alternatives, try using a bit of orange juice mixed with a bit of lemon juice and just a dash of honey. If you prefer something on the stouter side, brandy or cognac would be wonderful as well. (blackberry brandy especially). There really is no wrong choice, as long as it’s something that you like in combination with fruit.
For another twist, use chocolate or strawberry flavored whipped cream or topping. (Mine looks a bit flat because the topping used is fat free, which made this dessert nearly sin-free for my wife, who is on a fitness program at the moment, but doesn’t take to warming well.)
For a garnish, try fresh mint leaves or candied orange zest. Simply fabulous.
The recipe above makes one large dessert, but can easily be adapted to make more, just keep the macerated fruit in the fridge until ready to assemble.