There’s a small blueberry farm/patch/spot not far from our parent’s house that we used to go to when sis and I were little. Back in the day you could grab one of the handled trays that the workers there used and pick your own bursting with goodness berries. And pay a fraction of what you would if you bought what they picked. It was a kind of tradition for us, and without fail, for years, we’d pile in the car as early as possible to beat the heat and pick until we had more blueberries than we almost had any business buying. Which, of course, means we had just about enough. Sure, there was that one summer where one of the local kids got bit by a water moccasin amongst the bushes, but we just….well, we just kept right on picking! It kept us darn, trouble-making kids busy.
The kid that got bitten was fine, promise. The blueberries didn’t make us heartless. But we did get more cautious!
Nowadays you can’t pick your own berries, but they still maintain the blueberry bushes and you can buy from them. Or sometimes you can pick your own. I think. I’m not really sure because our mom goes down there and still buys them. We just get to have some and fawn over mom and wheedle more from her when we run out. Love you, mom!
Blueberries keep very well in the freezer for some time, but I decided we needed to do something with my allotment right away.
This recipe couldn’t be any easier. What you see above is all you’ll need: fresh blueberries, some crispy ginger snaps, lemon juice, some heavy cream and pure maple syrup.
Aren’t blueberries gorgeous little things? Taken from the freezer, they look like frosty goodness in a bowl.
Once they’re cooked down with the maple syrup, they turn into a very rich-looking sauce. Some of the berries were reserved and then added to the sauce later so that there are broken down, cooked berries as well as firm, whole ones.
Maple syrup is also added to the whipped cream, just enough to barely sweeten it.
All that’s left is to layer. That’s the beauty of a parfait. Usually they’re made of very simple and simply made ingredients that only require a little layering to finish them off.
Despite the maple syrup, which seems like it would be overpoweringly sweet, this is a very light-tasting dessert. It goes down easy and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy, a perfect solution to the end of a meal in this never ending heat wave.
This was yet another surprisingly yummy treat that is perfect for a small get together with friends or family. It takes next to no time at all to make and assemble and when it’s gone, the satisfied feelings stick with you. Enjoy!
Maple Blueberry Parfaits
from Gourmet, July 2009
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 8 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 6
- 3 1/2 cups blueberries (18 ounces), divided
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B), divided
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 ounces thin ginger cookies, coarsely crumbled
Cook 2 1/4 cups (3/4 pound) blueberries with 1/2 cup maple syrup in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until blueberries have burst, 3 to 8 minutes. Cool in an ice bath, stirring occasionally.
While blueberry mixture cools, beat cream with remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup in a bowl using an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks.
Stir lemon juice and remaining 1 1/4 cups blueberries into cooled blueberry-maple mixture.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons blueberry mixture into each of 6 glasses and top with a scant handful of crumbled cookies and 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream. Repeat layering of remaining blueberry mixture, crumbled cookies, and whipped cream. Serve immediately.
It’s possible you could stretch this recipe to serve 8 people if you make more whipped cream. That was the only part there was almost not enough of.
How much you use in each layer might be determined by the size of your parfait containers. Our glasses were tall and a little narrow, so we used a little less in each layer than the recipe originally called for. (The directions above are how we made them.)
Leftover blueberry sauce is good on ice cream! Just sayin’.
Just thought of this one – don’t wash your berries before putting them in the fridge or freezer to preserve them. This will toughen the skins or make the berries mushy (blech) (I believe…it’s something like that). Wait to wash them until you’re ready to use them.