Recipe: Summertime Strawberry Lemon Parfaits


As far as the summer fruit lineup goes, strawberries are really calling my name these days. They're on point or "on fleek" as the millennials are saying. Whether you're snagging a basket at a corner market or farmer's market, they're looking mighty fine wherever you go.

I've been dabbling in all the fruity delights lately- I made a fruit galette, pie, jam and ice cream, but hadn't yet made a legit fruit parfait. After some light googling, I landed on this stellar looking strawberry lemon parfait recipe that really lured me in. I loved the contrast of tart lemon to sweet strawberry. In addition, it had them nestled with other delicious friends - whipped cream and pound cake. Yass.

There are 4 different components going on with this dessert, which sounds time-consuming, but each item went swiftly. The most time consuming being the pound cake, simply because you have the blasted bake and cool time. Alas, I have pro tips for you in the directions on how you can shave off some time.

Fun(?) fact: you can make this dessert ahead of time- several hours or a day ahead - allowing the layers to spoon each other, upping their flavor.

Here's to taking full advantage of summer fruit while the gettin's good!

Strawberry Lemon Parfaits
Yield: 6 individual cups (about 150 ml each)

Ingredients - Pound Cake
Yield: 8 servings (more than you need for the parfait, feel free to half it if you want)
Recipe by Once Upon a Chef
3 tablespoons milk (any kind)
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Ingredients - Lemon Curd
Yield/Note: makes 1.5 cups, BUT you only need 1 C for the parfait
Recipe by Pretty Simple Sweet
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons for both zest and juice)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Ingredients - Strawberries n' Cream
Recipe by Pretty Simple Sweet
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions - Pound Cake
1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-in x 4-in x 2½-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess. 
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended.
4.  Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 separate additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to combine. Do not over-mix. (The batter may have a slightly curdled or grainy appearance -- that's okay.)
5.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. 
6.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7.  Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Pro Tip: Wrap the warm cake well in plastic wrap and pop into fridge or freezer to cool faster.

Directions - Lemon Curd
1.  In a medium heatproof bowl, place eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and juice and whisk to combine. 
2.  Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie). 
3.  Once simmering, cook on medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick. If you have a thermometer, it should register 170F; otherwise, it should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a clear pass if you run your finger through it.
4.  Remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a sieve (I skipped this because, lazy). 
5.  Add butter and whisk until completely melted and incorporated, and mixture is smooth.
6.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a "skin" from forming, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Directions - strawberries and cream
For the strawberries
Place the strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature to let the strawberries macerate and release some of their juices.

For the whipped cream:
Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla on high speed until medium peaks form.

Place a few cake pieces at the bottom of the glasses. Spoon a dollop of the lemon curd on top, then the strawberries (with their juices), and then the whipped cream. Repeat the layering until you've reached the top, ending with whipped cream. If not serving immediately, cover and store in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.