Easy Fruit Dessert: Floating Raspberry Parfait

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From time to time, not often enough, I dream of flying. I am able to lift off from a standing position, and attain an obscene altitude with ease, darting in and out of streets, treetops and even over water. That ability to levitate and defy gravity is exhilarating. Consciousness is great and everything, but the birds kinda have it good. I really hope in my next incarnation I have wings because it's the only way I'll ever be able to achieve flight.

Raspberry Parfait
Image: Courtesy of I Feel Like Cooking


All that has changed since creating my Ethereal Floating Raspberry Cream Parfait. It is levitation in a bowl and will carry you to heights of yumminess. (Note: Calories vanish if you're wearing fairy wings while consuming...just thought you should know.)

To offset the gem-like iridescence of the fruit, I'm sure you noticed the ratio of cream to raspberries, plunging your intentions for low-calorie pleasure into oblivion. But from a mouthfeel standpoint, each bite is supremely refreshing, and not heavy. I served it after an earthy meal of slow-roasted chicken, with carrots and white miniature potatoes sauteed in a butter, oil and cinnamon-pear balsamic glaze, and spring greens with a citrus and thyme vinaigrette.  It's darned easy -- to make the dessert, that is. Flying still requires a good pillow and a hankering for birdseed.
 

Ethereal Floating Raspberry Cream Parfait

INGREDIENTS: - SERVES 4
  • 1 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 C raspberries, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 3 T Dark rum (you can leave out, or substitute with a hint of almond, hazelnut or other fragrant extract)
  • 4 T Sugar divided into 3 and 1
  • 2 t Vanilla extract
  • Mint for garnish. And if you like, a SMALL, SMALL sprinkling of pieces on the top. I actually found that just having the mint in contact with the dessert offered the fragrance and a slight flavor that was needed. You don't want to overpower the star of the show.

First reserve 8 berries. They will be the placed on top of the finished dessert as a garnish. Tear off 8 pretty mint leaves for garnish as well, and chop 1/2 a teaspoon of the mint if you're planning on sprinkling it on top.

Take 1 C of the raspberries and place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, 1 T sugar and 3 T rum. Let sit for 30 minutes. Take the remaining raspberries and place in a flat bottomed bowl. Use a potato masher (yep, worked great for me) to break down the raspberries. You don't want to put them in a food processor because we don't want to puree them, just make them mushy. Set aside.

Now, pour the cream into a large, tall measuring cup (I love my 8 C measuring vessel for this.) Either by hand or with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. (Takes about 3 minutes depending upon the speed of your mixer.) Add the remaining sugar and the vanilla and beat until incorporated and the cream holds it's shape.

SLOWLY and gently fold in the mushed fruit with a spatula. Just use round motions around the outside of the bowl and fold inwards so that the fruit is spread throughout the cream but still very small flecks of some white and fruit are visible.

Now, divide the fruit that has been set aside and spoon it into 4 serving bowls, placing it all over the bottom of the dish. You can use tall parfait glasses or short champagne glasses like it did. Keep all that yummy, flavorful juice, too. Then, spoon the cream mixture over the top, spreading gently around so that it floats on top but doesn't mush down into the whole fruit.

Now top with the mint leaves and the whole berries you set aside at the beginning. Chill until ready to dazzle!
 

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