This strawberry parfait is a deliciously light dessert, with layers of whipped cream and strawberry puree. It makes a beautiful presentation for any occasion. It’s also called strawberry fool in England where it would also be known as a pudding. (This post was originally published on June 4th, 2012. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
What’s the difference between a “parfait” and a “fool”?
A Fool is a classic British dessert which first appeared in the late 16th century. Originally made with custard, today most fools are made with whipped cream. While most any fruit can be used in a fool, traditionally strawberry, gooseberry or rhubarb is used. Usually the fruit puree is blended with the whipped cream.
A parfait is layered, and it this version I wanted the parfait to have an “ombre” effect. I reserved some of the macerated berries, pureed some and added the puree in varying quantities to the whipped cream to to get four shades of whipped cream. This version is also naturally gluten free!
Can you make this sugar free?
Because the fruit is naturally sweet, this dessert requires just a 1/2 cup of sugar for six servings. However, you can certainly use less. A natural sugar substitute like Swerve can be used. If you’re not using a 1 to 1 sugar replacement, you’ll need to adjust the measurements accordingly.
How to make a parfait
The ingredients are simple. You’ll need fresh strawberries, whipping cream and a bit of sugar. Adding a liqueur like Chambord is optional.
Hull fresh strawberries…Fresh is best, but a few bruised or past-prime berries can slip by and won’t be noticed once they’ve been macerated with some sugar and liqueur, then pureed.
Chop berries and add sugar and liqueur. While berries are releasing their juices, whip cream.
Chop berries, add liqueur and sugar.
Divide whipped cream, chopped berries and pureed berries. Add puree to 2 bowls of whipped cream, leaving one bowl of whipped cream plain. Make the whipped cream as dark or light as you wish.
But definitely use glass, so that you can see the pretty layers, like these.
Layer fruit and whipped cream…
from darkest to lightest, reserving plain whipped cream for the top layer.
This colorful parfait is the perfect way to usher in spring!
Looking for other English desserts?
- 1 pint strawberries washed, hulled and chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons Chambord (Raspberry liqueur) optional
- In a medium sized bowl, add 1/4 cup of sugar and the Chambord to the strawberries, and let them macerate for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- With a slotted spoon, reserve 1/2 of the berries. Puree remaining berries and juice in a food processor or blender, leaving puree a bit chunky.
- Whip cream to stiff peaks in a mixer, adding the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, about half way through.
- For the ombre effect, divide the whipped cream into three small bowls and add the strawberry puree to each bowl, varying the amount for three different shades or layers.
- Add a small amount of the pureed berries to each glass or dish, then add the darkest whipped cream and berry mixture. Carefully add the next two layers with a spoon or spatula.
- Chill fools for one hour for best flavor.
- Garnish with fresh berries