Whether it’s a busy weeknight, a friend’s decided to stay for dinner, or you simply don’t want to cook, sometimes you need something easy to throw together. The recipes in our series “Homemade Gourmet” take the thought and time out of cooking without sacrificing their flavor or gourmet appeal. Layers of crispy ladyfingers, fluffy whipped cream, and tart Harry & David Lemon Curd are the perfect combination for this lemon parfait by Bianca Dodson of Lenox Bakery.
Every year when Mother’s Day rolls around, I plan a delicious brunch for my amazing mom. It’s such a small token of my appreciation for her being the best mom to my sisters and I, and the best grandmother to my son and nephew.
I typically handle dessert and parfaits are my go-to. They’re one of my favorite things to make in the warmer months and they truly are the perfect dessert. Parfait actually means perfect in French, which is where the dessert originated.
Parfaits take very little time to make. Plus, my mom absolutely loves them. She will generally pack two to go: one for the ride home and the other for her dessert after dinner.
Making the Lemon Parfaits
There are many parfait variations. Many have a cookie or cake base and are layered with a custard or cream. These individual lemon parfaits have only four ingredients: Harry & David Lemon Curd, ladyfinger cookies, lemon zest, and homemade whipped cream. No pressure to make your own whipped cream — store-bought whipped cream is just fine. If making homemade whipped cream, place your heavy whipping cream in the freezer for a few minutes prior to starting. This will help the cream hold up better when layering the dessert.
Each ingredient lends itself to making this dessert full of flavors and textures. The lemon curd is tart and sweet, and also very silky. The ladyfingers give you a well-balanced crunch and don’t get soggy. Layered between the lemon curd and cookies is the fluffy whipped cream. The topper is a bit of bright lemon zest that adds a layer of citrus with every bite, as well as gives the parfait a look of spring.
Besides being easy to make, these parfaits can also be made ahead of time, saving you time when your guests arrive. Refrigerate them until ready to eat. Just try not to eat them all before serving!
Lemon Curd Parfait
For the Homemade Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Lemon Parfaits:
- 8-10 ladyfingers
- 1 jar Harry & David Lemon Curd
- Whipped cream
- Zest of one lemon
To make the whipped cream:
- Place heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Place the whipped cream in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the parfaits:
- Grab 4 serving glasses and place a layer of broken ladyfingers at the bottom of each.
- Layer a generous dollop of whipped cream over the cookies, followed by a very generous layer of lemon curd.
- Break additional ladyfingers into bite-sized pieces and layer over the lemon curd.
- Finish the parfait by dolloping a spoonful of whipped cream onto the cookies and garnish with lemon zest.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.