Strawberries, cream, and summer: these three belong together. It's so easy to put strawberries into a bowl and simply pour over a little cream for a quick summertime treat. But by spending a few quick minutes whipping the cream with vanilla and layering the fruit with amaretto-soaked amaretti biscuits, you have an elegant strawberry parfait.
Strawberries play the starring role in this recipe, so make sure the ones you get are large, juicy, and sweet. For the whipped cream, always use real vanilla bean extract, never essence.
Amaretti biscuits are a classic Italian treat. Chewy and flavored with almonds, they make a lovely biscuit base for desserts like this. Here they are gently soaked in sweet amaretto liqueur for extra sweet almond flavor.
- 12 amaretti biscuits
- 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Gather the ingredients.
Place the amaretti biscuits in a plastic bag and gently crush using a rolling pin until they resemble coarse sand. Remove a couple of tablespoons and keep to the side for garnish. Spoon an even amount into the base of two glass dessert dishes or wine glasses. Press the crushed biscuit crumb firmly with the back of a spatula, then carefully, without disturbing the crumb, spoon over the Amaretto. Pop the glasses into the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the parfait.
Wash, hull, and dry the strawberries.
Always wash strawberries before hulling. If you wash them afterward the water will get into the center of the fruit and make them soft.
Choose three or four of the largest, well-shaped strawberries and slice as thinly as you can. Then, finely chop the remaining strawberries. Once the biscuit base is chilled, take the slices and lay evenly into the base and up the sides of the glasses in an even line. Repeat with a second row behind and overlapping with the previous fruit, reserving a few slices of strawberry for decoration. Fill the well in the middle of the sliced fruit with half of the chopped strawberries. Return the glasses to the refrigerator.
Whip the cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar using a stand or hand mixer to create stiff peaks. Take care not to overwhip the cream, which can soon become over-stiff and will be hard to pipe into the glasses.
Pipe the cream into each glass using a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle or layer using a spoon. Top with another layer of chopped strawberries and finish with more cream. Decorate with a few slices of strawberries and a little amaretti crumb.
Serve. If the parfaits are not to be eaten immediately, cover each glass with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. They are best eaten the same day.
- You can make this dessert with other fruit too. Add some fresh raspberries, or use peaches and blueberries in place of the strawberries. As long as the fruit is fresh, sweet, and delicious, the dessert will be wonderful.