Now, I realize that “easy” is a relative term. Some of you won’t want to bother making the vanilla pastry cream, and a switch to a package of instant vanilla pudding will certainly save time. I have used many a package of instant vanilla pudding to save time myself. If you do have the time, the vanilla pastry cream is simply luscious. Alternatively, instead of using any pudding at all, you could simply substitute vanilla ice cream.
Another time saver is to just use fresh blueberries instead of cooking the blueberries. The point is to have fun and do what’s convenient for you. For me, messing around in the kitchen is fun—especially if I can get someone else in the family to clean up after me! Enjoy…
One year ago: Flag Sheet Cake
4th of July Parfait
1 quart of fresh strawberries, cut into bite-sized pieces
Ingredients for Blueberry Layer
- 3 cups blueberries, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbl. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
Ingredients for Vanilla Pastry Cream Layer
- 1 quart whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 5 tbl. cornstarch
- 2 tbl. vanilla extract
- 2 oz. unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar, divided
Directions for Blueberry Layer
Combine 1 1/3 cups of the blueberries, the 1/2 cup of sugar, the lemon juice and lemon zest in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 6 minutes or until blueberries burst and mixture thickens slightly. (I helped it along by mashing the berries in the pan using a fork.) Stir in the remaining 1 2/3 cups of blueberries and remove from heat to cool slightly.
Directions for Vanilla Pastry Cream Layer
Bring milk plus 1/2 cup sugar to 175o F, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Combine eggs and cornstarch and set aside until milk reaches 175o. Then, stir in remaining 1/2 cup sugar into eggs.
Now, temper eggs with a cup of the hot milk, stirring constantly. Then pour egg mixture back into pan of hot milk and stir constantly until it thickens and starts to boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Place plastic wrap or wax paper over surface immediately. You can chill in an ice water bath, stirring occasionally to redistribute and chill thoroughly.
Spoon some of the blueberry mixture into the bottom of a parfait glass, followed by some vanilla pastry cream. Top off with fresh strawberries. The amounts of each are totally optional and will also depend on the size of the parfait glass you are using
You may or may not have each of the layers come out even—in other words, you may run out of one layer’s ingredients while you still have some of the other two layers’ ingredients. I think you’ll be able to figure out what to do with any leftover fruit or pudding!