Summer is coming! It really is. I know many days it doesn’t feel like it, but we’re already into March Break, which means just 3 more months of school.
This is a very summery dessert. First off, anything in a glass that is chilled says “summer” to me. Additionally, the flavours of this dessert combine citrus and coconut, which makes me think of piña coladas, and sitting on a warm beach.
The problem with parfaits are all the fiddly bits that go into making them. You need to prepare each element separately, but when they all come together, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
This recipe consists of three parts:
- A cakey-ladyfinger layer which adds a savory-sweet element.
- A meyer lemon curd, which adds a tangy-sweet pudding-like element.
- A coconut cream, which finishes the dish with a smooth mouthfeel.
Meyer Lemon Coconut Parfait
For the bottom layer (Ladyfingers):
(recipe courtesy of Maison Orphee)
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 4 tsp honey
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 2 Tbsp orange juice
• 2 tsp orange pel
• 3 Tbsp butter, melted
• 3 Tbsp Maison Orphée Basil-flavoured Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil
• Melted butter and all-purpose flour for the Ladyfinger tins
1. Whisk eggs, sugar, and honey in a medium bowl until frothy and pale.
2. Add a spoonful at a time of flour and baking powder mixed together. Mix between each addition. Add orange juice and zest and mix just until completely blended. Add oil and melted butter and give a final stir.
3. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
5. Use a brush or paper towel to butter generously the tins (12 tins). Drizzle with flour and flip over to remove excess flour. Spoon the batter to ¾ of each tin’s capacity. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until nice and golden.
6. Remove from oven and unmold right away. Allow to cool.
For the middle layer: Meyer Lemon Curd
- 3 to 4 Meyer lemons (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure 2 teaspoons and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/2 cup. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking, until thickened and smooth and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 5 minutes. Force curd through a fine sieve set into another bowl. Serve warm or cover surface of curd with wax paper and cool completely.
Top Layer: Coconut Cream
- 1 can coconut cream
- 2-3 tbsps sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla beans
Refrigerate the can of coconut cream, unopened, in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight. Flip the can over, open the can, and then pour off the liquid on top. Scoop out the thick coconut layer on the bottom into a bowl.
Using a hand mixer, begin beating the coconut until it starts to look fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat it some more until it is a consistency that reminds you of whipped cream.
Place a single layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of your dish. Add a layer of the meyer lemon, then top with the coconut cream. Garnish with large coconut flakes.