Raspberry Parfaits: Changing the World One Dessert at a Time

If you’re going to change the world, why not start with dessert.

There are few things tastier than fresh, seasonal raspberries. Except fresh, seasonal raspberries that you pick yourself the same day you eat them. Tart, juicy, and somehow the perfect foil to a sultry summer evening.

So many possibilities....

So many possibilities….

And when you get a little tired of experimenting with kid-friendly produce at dinner I recommend this trick: try dessert instead. I talked it up from the second I picked up the girls at daycare. “Guess what, guys? I’ve got fresh raspberries, and I think we should make parfaits tonight for dessert. But only if everyone eats dinner and puts on their listening ears ALL NIGHT LONG.”

“What can we put in our parfaits, mom?”

“Let’s see. What about…fresh whipped cream?”

“Whipped cream!?!?!?!!!!!”

Applause, whoops and cheers erupted in the back seat. Whipped cream is big with the under-six set.

To be fair, fresh fruit is hardly a hard sell. And, both girls did a very good job with veggies during dinner. But parfaits still seemed like the right thing to do.

And so, despite some predictable malfunctioning of those listening ears (“I must have forgotten to turn them on….”) we spent the time between bath and bedtime not reading a story, at least not this evening, but making this super simple summer treat. We even got to talk about raspberry picking and how berries are such a special treat because they are only ripe on the local bushes for a week or two every summer. And it always seems like that perfect berry — the one that is bigger than the rest, and at the peak of ripeness — is the one furthest from reach. I’ve even got the thorny scratches to prove it.

Red, ripe raspberries

Red, ripe raspberries

1 pint heavy cream
2 – 4 teaspoons confectioners sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Graham crackers, animal crackers, or other cookies of choice
Fresh raspberries (approximately 1 1/2 cups should do it)

Beat cream with a hand blender in cold metal bowl until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the confectioners sugar and beat until just incorporated. Add vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Do not over-mix or the cream will start to separate.

To assemble the parfaits, place a heaping spoonful of whipped cream in a bowl or glass, crumble a couple of cookies over the whipped cream, and top with approximately 1/4 cup berries. Add another spoonful of whipped cream and a couple more berries, and garnish with a whole cookie.

Easy! And sooooo good.

You can try adding some grated orange zest to the whipped cream, or a chocolate curl or two. But hey, that just might be gilding the lily.

Serves: 4

Whipping the cream, in the sink (easy clean-up, just in case)

Whipping the cream, in the sink (easy clean-up, just in case)

Parent rating: four-and-a-half stars. Not too sweet, very fresh. It’s not quite ice cream…but pretty darn close!
Kid rating: five stars. They would have licked the bowls if they could. Hey wait…they did lick the bowls. Yum.




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