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Blueberry Pie Parfaits with White Chocolate Cream

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Serves 6

  • by Danielle Pruett from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

This creative spin on the classic blueberry pie is a parfait made from layers of buttery almond-thyme streusel and warm blueberries, topped off with a rich, lemony white-chocolate cream and a sprinkle of chopped white chocolate.

For the streusel:
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. rolled oats (such as Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, not instant or quick-cooking)
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 oz. (scant 1/2 cup) slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the cream:
  • 4-1/2 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 tsp. grated and finely chopped lemon zest plus 1/2 tsp. juice (from 1 medium lemon)
  • Pinch kosher salt
For the filling:
  • 4 cups (1-1/4 lb.) fresh blueberries
  • 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Make the streusel:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, oats, butter, almonds, sugars, thyme, and salt on medium speed until the ingredients are evenly dispersed and some of the pieces of streusel are the size of hazelnuts. Transfer the streusel to a large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 5 to 6 minutes, until light golden-brown, about 20 minutes. Let the streusel cool completely before using.

Make the cream:

Put 3 oz. of the white chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of the cream and the lemon zest to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and salt, cover the bowl tightly, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup cream to the chilled mixture and beat with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate in a airtight container until ready to use.

Make the filling:

Put the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium heat. Using a potato masher or a silicone spatula, break up some of the blueberries to release their juice and cook, stirring often, until the mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture comes to a boil, stir constantly, reducing the heat to maintain a steady simmer, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice until melted. Let the filling cool until warm.

Assemble the parfaits:

Put 1 Tbs. of the streusel in the bottom of each of six 10-oz. parfait glasses. Divide half of the warm filling among them and scatter each with about 2 Tbs. streusel. Divide the remaining filling among the glasses and top with the remaining streusel. Dollop each with the white chocolate cream (about 2 Tbs. per parfait), sprinkle with the remaining chopped white chocolate, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the streusel up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can make the white chocolate cream up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. Re-whip to stiff peaks, if necessary, before using.

The filling is best used warm on the day you make it, but you can refrigerate it for up to 2 days in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed directly onto its surface. Gently reheat the filling in a small saucepan before assembly; you may need to add a bit of water to loosen it.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 670; Fat (g): 38; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): 22; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): 78; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 115; Cholesterol (mg): 90; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

As per usual, I made this exactly as the recipe said and it was delicious. Each part was easy to make and the instructions were flawless. The family enjoyed this dessert very much, but would have preferred the white chocolate cream without lemon. Otherwise it's excellent. You can read my full review at: http://bit.ly/MYGkJB

i've made this a couple of times. once by recipe and the other i incorporated it in with puff pastry. both ways were excellent and well received by the parties. the cream definitley helped but i found this to be a dessert that i will offer my guests many more times down the road.

I am celiac and have adapted this recipe to be gluten free. Instead of making a struezel I use UDI's All Natural GF granola. Not only did I change the recipe to be something I can eat, I also save a lot of time and mess. Other than that change, I follow the recipe. My family love it. I am so happy to have a delicious blueberry dessert I can enjoy. I also found the white chocolate seems to stabilize the whipped cream and it keeps it fresh for a few days. The next time I make this dessert, I might just put vanilla frozen yogurt on the top and sprinkle with white chocolate. For a BBQ, I made these up in Ball jars and served right in them. My guests pronounced the parfaits " a winner".

I've made this recipe twice now. Rave reviews from those I served it to both times. The blueberry filling is delicious, but without being too sweet. The little bit of fresh thyme in the streusel is wonderful. The serving sizes are a little large, and I would recommend serving to eight rather than six.

I have to agree with the first reviewer. This recipe was bland, it looked beautiful in the pictures and when served, but there was no depth. Maybe if you add yogurt between the layers it would taste like a nice parfait. As is, it felt like I was eating 3 ice cream toppings without the ice cream.

This was not my favorite recipe and the guests I served it to agreed with me. It didn't have much taste although I followed the directions exactly. I would not make this again.

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