It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything, and for those of you that follow my blog I apologize. Most of you know I’m executive chef for a liberal arts university and we’ve been doing a lot of catering work leading up to summer graduation, which was yesterday, so my time has been short the past month.
As is customary for every graduation on campus, I create/prepare an upscale dinner for the board of directors and the guest speaker from graduation. Last night’s meal was a filling one, beef tenderloin with portobello-Madeira sauce, roasted purple and pink potatoes and sauteed broccolini, so for dessert I needed something light. Since fresh berries are plentiful right now, I made a simple fresh berry parfait. The guests were really impressed with the flavors and wanted to know just what I did. They were shocked when I told them, because this is so simple to do. It’s a way to heighten the flavors of the fresh fruit without covering it up, so while berries are everywhere you should pick some up and give this a try!
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on their size
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tbsp Grand Marnier or similar orange liqueur
and for the simple creme anglaise:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks, beaten
- 1/3 cup sugar
To prepare the fruit, simply put all washed and cut fruit in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar, lemon juice and liqueur. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
To make creme anglaise:
- In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the cream and vanilla until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
- While the cream is heating, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 the hot cream mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Gradually add the egg yolk mixture back to the pot of remaining cream, whisking constantly, and cook until it thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and chill.
To assemble the parfaits:
Spoon fruit mixture in a parfait glass, alternating between layers of the macerated fruit and the chilled cream anglaise. Serve cold.