Parfait can mean different things to different people in different places. In France parfait is a desert made from sugar, egg, cream and flavorings frozen together and served in a tall glass. It's also the name of a smooth meat paste made with liver and liqueur.
In the US parfait can be two different things. They both require layering of ingredients. Here is what they can be:
One version is the layering of ice cream, fresh or canned fruits, syrup and whipped cream.
The other version, usually from the Northern part of the US, refers to the layering of yogurt, fresh or canned fruits, topped with nuts, and sometimes cereal, and whipped cream. This fruit and yogurt parfait is the version I make.
Both versions of American parfaits come in a tall glass like its French cousin.
and how about a Parfait On the Go?
You can take a parfait to work or school (or anywhere) by using a mason jar or the more stylish Mini Weck jar. I got them both at Cost Plus World Market and they are inexpensive.
If you are making a parfait on the go don't add cereal neither nuts to the jar. Pack them separately instead. Cereal and granola will get soggy and nuts will get a weird consistency, kind of soggy too. You can put them in a mini ziploc bag or wrap them in plastic wrap and add them later to your parfait.
It's better to make your parfait in the morning of the day you will eat it. However I always make mine the night before knowing the dry fruit will get a little mushy, but I don't mind that.
When choosing the yogurt for your parfait read the label. Some brands say low fat and when you look at the ingredients there are loads of sugar. It's better to get a plain one with no sugar added and then you can add stevia, agave, honey or maple syrup. If you decide to add table sugar then you are more in control of the amount you put in your parfait.
My favorite parfait is Kiwi and the recipe is below. However you can put anything you want in your parfait.
Here are some ideas. You always start with some fruit and then yogurt. You can also add some fruit preserve or jam at the bottom. You can use fresh fruit or canned fruit like peaches, pineapple, etc.
- fruits (sliced or cubed)
- yogurt (regular or Greek - preferably low fat)
- mint or basil (chopped)
- dry fruits like raisins, cranberries, prunes, apricots, etc
- nuts (any really)
- maple syrup
- fruit jam or preserves
- 1 kiwi sliced or cubes
- 1/2 cup Yogurt (vanilla or plain)
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves chopped
|Kiwi Mint Raisins Parfait|
What is special about this parfait is the addition of mint leaves. Luckily the mint I had planted in a pot had loads of tiny leaves so I did not even have to chop them, and don't they look cute in that jar?
Here is another one with nectarine and vannilla yogurt.
|Nectarine Prunes Basil Almond Parfait|
Nectarine Parfait recipe
- 6 oz vanilla yogurt
- 1 nectarine cubed
- 6 prunes cut in small pieces
- 3 basil leaves jullienned (cut in thin strips)
- almond slices
|Peach Honey Mint Dry Cranberries Parfait|
Peach Parfait recipe
1 peach cubed
6 ounces plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons dry cranberries
This time I just put everything in the mason jar in the order above.
What's your favorite parfait combination?