Lemon Parfait with Fruits and Sauces
Most parfaits come to the table in lovely tall glasses, but not these. Praline baskets are created to hold the parfaits, with chocolate and, if desired, marzipan flowers decorating the baskets. Bright mango sauce mirrors the plates under the baskets. Fresh fruit arranged to the side completes this dazzling presentation.
- Frozen Lemon Parfait
- Water - 1⁄4 cup
- Sugar - 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Light Corn Syrup - 1⁄2 tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 2
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Lemon Juice - 1⁄4 cup
- Heavy Cream - 1-1⁄3 cups
- Plain Yogurt - 1⁄4 cup
- Praline Batter
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Almonds - 10 ounces, finely ground
- Corn Syrup - 1 cup
- Mango Sauce
- Ripe Mango - 2 cups, diced, approximately
- Fresh lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
- Confectioners’ Sugar - 2 to 3 tablespoons, or to taste
- Orange Juice - 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 1⁄2 pound
- Optional Garnishes
- Marzipan flowers
- Star fruit
- Strawberries - 6
- Blackberries - 6
To make the parfait: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup and heat until the temperature reaches 243 F on a candy thermometer. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until they turn foamy. Stir the syrup mixture into the egg whites and whip together until the mixture cools slightly to room temperature. Fold the lemon zest and lemon juice into the cooled egg whites.
In a separate mixing bowl whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Whisk in the yogurt. Gently fold the egg whites into the cream and yogurt mixture. Spoon the parfait into 4-ounce molds and freeze overnight.
To make the praline batter: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and have a second sheet of parchment paper the same size as the first ready. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, ground almonds, and corn syrup and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and spread onto a parchment-lined pan. Allow the batter to cover all but 2 inches of the pan. To even the batter’s thickness, place the second sheet of the parchment onto the batter, and gently roll with a rolling pin until a uniform thickness is achieved. Remove the parchment from the top.
Place the praline batter in the top third of the preheated oven and bake about 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Immediately remove the praline and begin forming into basket shapes:
Using a circle cutter, cut a 6-inch round. Next cut a rectangle 1 inch wide and 4 inches long. This will be used to form the handle. Make the baskets by folding the rounds while still warm over a rounded surface such as a can or glass with a small circular bottom. The smaller the bottom, the higher the basket. Attach the handle to the basket. If the pieces become too cool to shape, they may be rewarmed in the oven.
To make mango sauce: Puree the mango, lemon juice, and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor. Add enough orange juice to achieve a sauce that will pour. Adjust the flavoring, adding sugar or lemon juice as needed. Force sauce through a strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract all the juices from the pulp. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
To temper the chocolate: Have a large sheet of parchment paper ready. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 120 F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and let the chocolate cool to 90 F. Spread the chocolate over the parchment to about 1⁄4-inch thickness, and smooth with a rubber spatula. When the chocolate is set, cut into rounds to fit the bottom of the praline basket, and small rectangles for the handles.
To present: Pour mango sauce onto individual dessert plates, and place a praline basket in the center of the plate. Place a chocolate disc on the bottom of the basket, and a rectangle on each end of the handle to adhere to the basket. If desired, place a marzipan flower over one end of the handle. Remove the parfaits from the freezer, unmold, and place in the center of basket. Decorate the plate with small pieces of fresh fruit.