Berry Good Parfaits

Chef Larry Barrett
Simply Gourmet Caterers

Strawberry lovers your moment has arrived. Everyone loves dessert, but sometimes you just need a few bites. These petite strawberry parfaits deliver big taste in small glasses. Totally irresistible and elegant, these “few bite wonders” are show stoppers for any great celebration~a perfect finale to your Easter dinner.

When creating desserts I want flavor. Instead of adding sugar to my berries, I use strawberry jam and Cassis to coax the fruit into surrendering its goodness. Cassis is an exquisite liquor from France, made with black currants. The Cassis adds another layer of goodness and concentrates that strawberry perfume; it not only makes this recipe different but better. With the addition of a few elegant ingredients, these parfaits become a sophisticated version of a childhood favorite.

A country style strawberry shortcake can be prepared with sugar dusted biscuits but for parfaits~I love pound cake. A quality pound cake holds the strawberry juice and adds just the right amount of sweetness. To make your life a little simpler, pick up a pound cake at the market. When it comes to whipped cream, there is just no substitute for fresh~it’s that dense, creamy flavor, the vanilla essence, and just the right amount of sugar that brings the sum of the parts together. Beat your cream at the very last moment; these simple techniques elevate your culinary creations.

Take advantage of the seasons and use fruits that are at their peak of flavor. Raspberries or blueberries are also fantastic in this recipe, except substitute raspberry or blueberry jam. When it comes to dessert, keep things simple~but delicious. These luscious parfaits will disappear faster than an Easter egg hidden in plain sight. Enjoy.

Strawberry Petite Parfait
Serves 6 (Petite Dessert/3 oz.)

One Quart of Ripe Strawberries
One Quarter Cup of Cassis Liquor (Currant Liquor)
One Half Cup of Strawberry Preserves
Freshly Whipped Cream
Best Quality Pound Cake Squares (Home Made or Store Bought)

Cut off strawberry tops, wash berries and cut in quarters. Melt strawberry preserves and cassis in a sauce pan make sure the mixtures comes to a slow boil (this will get rid of any edgy alcohol taste) cool mixture. Pour cooled mixture on strawberries and let macerate for at least one hour (the berries will render their juice). Place a few squares of pound cake in the bottom of a petite parfait glass (or sherry/wine glass). Add a few macerated berries and a teaspoon of the strawberry juice. Top with a bit of whipped cream. Add a few more squares of pound cake and repeat the layers with strawberries and top off with a whipped cream rosette.

Whipped Cream
1 Pint Cold Heavy Cream
Granulated Sugar to Taste (About ¼ Cup)
1 Tsp. Natural Vanilla Extract
Combine all ingredients. Beat with a whisk until firm.

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