Bonjour from France my TBSH friends :). I hope the weather is treating you as kindly as it has been here in the sunny Mediterranean Sea! Wouldn’t you know it June 23rd is National Strawberry Parfait Day, and what a surprise it was for me to realize the history to this dish that ties back to France. Apparently the parfait dates back as early as 1894, which is the date the parfait is first noted in a French cuisine article … So I guess that means the French can claim it as their creation?
My initial assumptions of a parfait are naturally the combination of yogurt, fruit, and a granola and/or mixed nuts. Apparently my friends, this is the American version! I had the privilege of sitting with my mother-in-law (whom is French!) this morning to discuss the original foundations of the parfait, again assuming it’s origin is from France, and she offered a little history lesson in the fact the original French dish couldn’t have included yogurt because yogurt had not hit France until the 1950’s period! As she recalls, her grand-father back in the War World II period started making homemade yogurt on the family farm, which my mother-in-law holds fond memory to. He took the recipe from the Yugoslavia traditions of making yogurt because yogurt was not offered in France to the general public. In fact, she remembers him making his yogurt and making enough to be able to offer it to neighbors in the village (so cool!). Therefore, apparently, the original parfait (which means “perfect” for those French-lingual enthusiasts) was actually made with creams and custards, not yogurt! I guess we in America needed a simpler path to our pleasure :).
The recipe I would like to offer below is one that honors the original tradition of the strawberry parfait, and is also one that the entire family asked seconds for – so it must be pretty darn good!
Family Rating: 10
Like my other recipes, I always like to include the rating my family gives on a recipe, because I feel we have such a diverse palette and age range … And, honestly, it’s fun watching everyone have a vote!
- Amelie gives this a 10! (She’s eight years old and can’t wait to be nine soon! Why she liked this dish so much is because she’s a natural sweet-tooth and threw both of her hands up … With all fingers in the air … To represent her vote!
- Max gives this a 10! (He’s the tween in the family and can be one my harshest critics with recipes … But, nothing harsh on this recipe – he ran around the table yelling 10 for this dish!)
- Guillaume gives this a 10! (So, this was most surprising because he isn’t a sweet-tooth … )
- Bridgette (yes, this is me!) gives this a 10! (The granola sold it for me, to my dismay. I thought basil would add an earthy taste but in fact embellished the granola to a point of addiction!)
Ingredients for the Lemon Custard:
- 3 cups of heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup of gluten-free baking flour
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Ingredients for the Homemade Granola:
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cup
- 2 Cooking Sheets (1 for the strawberries and 1 for the granola)
- Mixing Bowls
- Large Saucepan
- Plastic Wrap
- Parchment Paper
GARNISH FACTS (Optional)
- Fresh Mint
- Whip Cream
- Servings: 4-6 Persons, depending upon portion offered
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 minutes (for the custard to cook), 10-12 hours (for custard to settle), 25 minutes (for the granola to cook), and 5 minutes (for the strawberries to roast)
- Serving Tips: For the best visual delivery of this dish, make layers of custard, strawberries, and granola! It isn’t required for a better taste, but putting whip cream and a mint leave along the top of the dish makes for another inviting affect!
Preparing the Custard. You’ll want to begin with the preparation of the custard, naturally because it takes the longest! It doesn’t require a lot of cooking, just time for the custard to chill in the refrigerator. Therefore, I’d suggest making this either first thing in the morning (if you are wanting to eat it for dinner on the same the day), or prepare after dinner so that you can offer it as a treat as a breakfast the following day. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
- Place the large saucepan onto the stove and put the temperature at medium heat.
- Add your heavy cream and 1 cup of brown sugar into the saucepan.
- Cook the two ingredients until the sugar has dissolved (this should take between 3 – 5 minutes).
- Remove the saucepan from the stove and slowly stir in your lemon juice into the saucepan.
- Wait about 5 minutes for the saucepan ingredients to slightly cool.
- Pour the ingredients from the saucepan into a bowl (I would suggest a glass bowl so that you can see from the sides how it is cooling while it sits in the refrigerator).
- Place plastic wrap on top of the bowl and place on a flat shelf in the refrigerator.
- Let your homemade custard sit for about 10 – 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Preparing the Granola. Making homemade granola can be so rewarding! Don’t doubt the taste of this granola by the inclusion of Basil – trust me, it tastes SO good. And, you can easily double-up on this recipe and make extra for other recipes should you need more!
- Preheat your oven to 325 Fahrenheit.
- In a mixing bowl, combine your brown sugar, butter, flour, vanilla, and basil. (HINT: picking fresh basil and cutting into small pieces offers a fresher flavor to the granola)
- Either with a fork, or with your hands, kneed the ingredients to a point of consistency of small chunks, or clumps.
- Taking one of your cooking sheets, cut a parchment paper piece to fit and place onto the cooking sheet.
- Place the granola clumps onto the cooking sheet. (The clumps should be about the size of a nickel.)
- Place the cooking sheet into the oven and cook until the clumps are golden brown. This should take around 25 minutes.
- Once the granola has reached a golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the granola and place into a bowl. Take a fork and crumble the granola clumps into smaller pieces.
- Voila – you have granola!
Preparing the Strawberries. Of course you can opt to put just fresh, diced strawberries on your parfait. But, you HAVE to try your parfait with roasted strawberries – it’s an unexpecting treat! … Plus, it’s simple to do 🙂
- Raise the temperature of your oven from 325 to 425 Fahrenheit.
- Take your strawberries and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- In a bowl, place your strawberries and toss them with brown sugar.
- Taking the other cooking sheet, cut a parchment paper piece to fit it and place the parchment paper on top of the cooking sheet.
- Scatter your strawberries onto the cooking sheet.
- Place the cooking sheet into the oven and let the strawberries roast. This should take about 5 minutes, or until you find juice is starting to come out from the strawberries.
- Remove the strawberries from the oven and let them cool!
Oh … And don’t forget to turn off your oven! I tend to always forget this and Guillaume gets SO upset with me 🙂
And, there you have it – a parfait inspired from the original roots of the French parfait, combined with the American influence by adding homemade granola! You absolutely cannot go wrong when offering this dish for either breakfast, or as a dessert. Hands down, this dessert passed the litany test with the family and has hit one of the highest success scores from the entire family. From our French-American fusion family to yours – Bon Appetite!