Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lemon Berry Parfaits!

Nothing like a Health
2 large eggs
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice, from 3 large lemons
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, from one large lemon*
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
5 cups assorted fresh berries (if using strawberries, cut into smaller pieces)
Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
Shortbread or Ginger cookies (optional)
1. Crack eggs into a medium bowl and beat well. Add sugar and lemon juice and whisk well until sugar is mostly dissolved. Set aside.
2. Fill bottom of double boiler pan with an inch of water. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat down to low. Melt butter in top of double boiler. Add egg mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick enough to coat a metal spoon, about 10 minutes. (If you get any bits of cooked egg, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove.) Stir in lemon zest and pour into shallow bowl. Chill in refrigerator until cold.
3. Pour chilled whipping cream into bowl of electric mixer and beat until cream forms firm peaks. (In other words, when you lift the whisk or beaters out of the bowl, the peak should hold its shape without drooping. If the cream looks grainy, you’ve gone too far and should start over.) Be sure lemon mixture is completely cool; then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold into whipped cream.
4. Place a large spoonful of berries into each glass (leave room for 2 layers of berries and 2 layers of cream) and top with a generous dollop of lemon cream. Top with another layer of berries and lemon cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. (Parfaits can be assembled up to this point several hours ahead of time.) Right before serving, top each parfait with a shortbread cookie and sprig of fresh mint.
*Anytime a recipe calls for lemon juice and lemon zest, be sure to zest the lemon before squeezing out the juice.