Perfecting the Parfait
The Parfait Tradition
For centuries, chefs have prepared finely textured frozen desserts by mixing sweetened meringue with whipped cream, embellishing it with a variety of flavorings. The mixture has been called a parfait, which in French literally means "perfect". Whatever language is used, it is the right name for such a simple, elegant and delicious dessert.
In the United States, there is a variation on the traditional French approach. The American parfait layers parfait ice cream and flavored gelatin with a whipped cream topping, various fruit or even liqueurs, all served in an elegant, tall, clear glass. For the calorie conscious, parfaits can be made by using yogurt layered with fruit and granola.
Online recipe sites such as Recipe4Living.com offer tantalizing ideas for preparing perfect parfaits. Here are just a few mouth-watering suggestions:
• A lemon peach combination is simple to prepare
• A light peach parfait can be enhanced with a double dose of amaretto
• Strawberry pudding parfaits evoke childhood comfort
• Dazzle guests with an elegant apricot and crystallized ginger concoction
• For chocolate lovers, add a peachy chocolate mousse
• For something unique, prepare a peach and mascarpone parfait
Some parfaits are simple to create, so even the kids can help prepare for the party. If you serve a variety in small glasses set out as a parfait buffet, everybody will be able to try two or three of them. Host a party dedicated to perfecting the parfait, and guests will be praising your dessert making skills for months to come.