What a treat on a hot, sweltering day. I am an ice-cream girl throughout the year. But I especially enjoy them in the summer. In the summer, that's when the Farmer's Markets display their colorful bounties on display. Each stall is simply bursting with fresh ripe fruit and berries. All screaming at me to take them home and with a wave of my wooden spoon and a buzz of my ice-cream maker to turn them into gorgeous, cool desserts.
I tell you it is a tough decision. Apricots, peaches, mangoes, figs or berries - I really have to pull my inner brakes on my imagination. My brain is already in 6th gear, making up all kinds of desserts and I am panicking because I cannot buy my ingredients as fast!
Finally, my eyes caught a glimpse of perfect strawberries. Baskets and baskets - all lined neatly in several rows, creating a vivid sea of red. Oh and the aroma was heavenly - the pure sweetness that lingered in the air was addicting. No wonder I came back with about 2 large baskets.
It was the week I had my birthday. I was busy planning a few little get-togethers and making several desserts. On the weekend I ended the party week marathon with a big barbeque dinner and this simply perfect parfait. As it had been an extremely hot and sunny week I think I hit all the right notes with this dessert. The strawberries were put to perfect use. Initially I had planned on putting my ice cream maker to use to make a creamy ice cream. I was probably still on the sugar shock I was suffering from that week and my adrenaline was on it's all time high. I felt like making a more elegant version of strawberry ice-cream.
Pistachios add a delicious crunch and pureed strawberries lend their heavenly aroma to this dessert. It's creamy, it's nutty, it's fruity and it's frozen. What more could you ask for?
Printable version of recipe here.
80-90g skinned pistachios
500g fresh strawberries, roughly chopped + 100g, sliced
100g icing sugar
5 egg yolks
15g vanilla sugar
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a piece of baking paper.
Dry roast the pistachios in a pan. Remove from heat. In the same pan add 4 tablespoons water and sugar and allow to caramelize. Once the caramel turns a gorgeous amber color add the roasted pistachios and stir to coat with the caramel.
Quickly turn out the pistachios on the baking sheet and allow to cool. Finally, coarsely chop the pistachio brittle.
Puree 500g strawberries using a pureeing machine. The consistency of the puree is entirely up to you. I prefer to have large strawberry bits in the parfait, not only because it looks nice but tastes great. Stir in 30g of icing sugar.
Place a mixing bowl on a pot of boiling water to create a water bath. With and electric hand mixer, whisk the eggs and the remaining 70g icing sugar into a thick, creamy mixture. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In a clean bowl, beat the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff.
First pour in the strawberry puree into the egg mixture, followed by the pistachio brittle and finally fold in the cream.
Line a rectangle cake form with a large freezer bag cut to fit the form. Pour in the parfait mixture and allow to freeze overnight.
On the day you plan to serve the parfait, take out of the refrigerator and allow to sit for a few minutes. The tip it onto a chopping board, removing the plastic bag. Cut into slices and serve arranged with sliced fresh strawberries and optionally a few mint leaves.
Fancy ice-cream I admit but worth the effort. My guests all had double portions, I think I myself had three!! It's just different than strawberry ice-cream because a frozen parfait is - well the elegant sister of the strawberry ice cream. The pistachio brittle are a nice crunchy surprise giving the cool, smooth parfait another texture. C'est parfait!
The very magnificent Mike of Mike's Table is very appropriately holding a fantastic event: You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts! So, let's all shout out load! Check out the roundup - I promise it'll be a very cooling one ;-)
You might enjoy these frozen delights from WFLH too:
From around the blogs:
Tartelette's mouthwatering Banana Raspberry Frozen Parfait
A Cat in the Kitchen's sinfully good frozen stracciatella cake with fudge sauce
Tasty Palette's very red watermelon granita
Live to Eat's lovely orange blueberry granita with a hint of ginger
Joining the party is easy. Create a mango dish and post it on your blog by July 14 and send it on over to me. You will find more details here.
Deadline: 14 July 2008
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