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Berry-Fig Cream Parfaits

Berry-Fig Cream Parfaits
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 I'll admit that the "food in jars" trend is getting a little out of hand, but what can I say? They look cute.

Summer is approaching peak bounty here in New England. Blueberries, raspberries, figs, peaches are in every market. They looked so gorgeous at the store today that I created this simple parfait dessert to show them off.

The recipe is easier than it might look: You make a quick, no-fail pastry cream on the stove and fluff up some whipped cream. Then you layer the creams with fruit and crushed shortbread. Meringues would also work, if your store has them (in fact, the classic British dessert, Eton Mess, is a mix of whipped cream, fruit, and crushed meringues). You can also use whatever fruit you happen to have on hand. As for how to serve them, I’ll admit that the “food in jars” trend is getting a little out of hand, but what can I say? They look cute.

Berry-Fig Fruit Parfaits

Total time: 35 minutes; hands-on time: 35 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1/3 of a vanilla bean
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy/whipping cream
  • Half-pint of blueberries
  • Half-pint of raspberries
  • 5 shortbread biscuits or meringue cookies, crumbled
  • 2 ripe figs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


Combine 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and the salt in a heavy saucepan; whisk in yolks and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Let sit five minutes to cool.  Meanwhile, whip the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Divide the custard among six 8-ounce jelly jars or clear glasses (about 1/3 cup per jar). Sprinkle with blueberries, raspberries, and equal portions of the crushed cookies.

Spoon about 1/2 cup of whipped cream into each jar and top with the figs and additional blueberries. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour (you don’t want the cookies to get mushy).



Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !

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