I love lemon and I love blackberries, so when I saw this recipe on the cover of the August issue of Bon Appetit, I knew I would have to give it a try. My first attempt was for a group of friends that we had over for dinner on a weeknight, so I looked for ways to simply it. My version is just as tasty, easy to make and an impressive end to any late summer dinner.
This recipe calls for lemon curd and whipped cream with mascarpone cheese. If you want to simply things even more, you might substitute lemon pudding for the lemon curd and cool whip for the whipped cream. I really consider this to be one of those desserts that you can modify to your heart’s (and taste-bud’s) content. Go on, give it a try.
Blackberry Lemon Parfaits
(adapted from Bon Appetit – August 2010)
- 2 cups fresh blackberries (or any combination of fresh berries)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons limoncello
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1 jar lemon curd
- 4 ounces gingersnap cookies (vanilla wafers, graham crackers??) – Crush cookie in plastic bag to approx. 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Toss berries, 2 tablespoons sugar, limoncello and lemon zest in a bowl, lightly crushing some of the berries to release their juices. Cover and refrigerate until sugar dissolves and juices form, approximately 3 hours.
Transfer lemon curd from jar to small bowl and let come to room temperature, whisking to loosen a bit. If the curd is still to thick to easily spread, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and microwave for 10 seconds.
Beat whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in electric mixer until soft peaks form.
ASSEMBLY: Arrange parfait glasses or compote cups on work surface. Place 4 -6 berries in bottom of each cup, then top with approximately 1/4 cup whipped cream, smoothing to edges. Add 1 tablespoon (or more) lemon curd, smoothing to edges as much as possible. Top with a layer of crushed cookies, and the repeat layering. Top with remaining cream and cover and chill for at least one hour. When ready to serve, spoon remaining berry mixture and juices over each parfait.
NOTE: The first time I made these, I neglected the final chilling and they tasted just as good, but not quite as set when chilled.