There are many things I would rather do this time of year than stand in the hot kitchen cooking. Dinners are usually marrinated and on the grill. But, what about dessert? It seems wrong to turn the oven on to bake when it’s 95 degrees out and I’m paying to cool my house with air conditioning. For this week’s Cooking with Heinen’s post, I’m going back to my childhood with layered angel food parfaits. I haven’t made these in many years. Heinen’s bakery makes a delicious angel food cake so cutting fruit, mixing a few ingredients and assembling is all you have to do. I’m going to give you a few ways to do this. If you know me you know I like to make things a that can be a bit more challenging. Have you seen the commercial where the dad is selling precooked ready-to-eat ribs and the scene flashes to his self-absorbed teen and he says, “Because he wont care if I’ve spent 6 hours cooking these ribs”? Well I think there are people who want the easy, quick and ready and there are those who want to spend 6 hours doing it their way.
So for these parfaits, I’m giving you options, quick and easy or make it yourself! A parfait is simply sweet treats layered in a single serving container. You can use fancy glassware, but today I’m getting ready for a picnic so I’m using jars with lids. If you would rather put everything in one large bowl that is called a trifle. Either way it will be delicious.
I’m using angel food cake from Heinen’s but I’m also using pound cake. Both will work for this recipe. One is more dense and rich (pound cake) and the other light fluffy and sweet (angel food cake). You can cut or tear the cakes into small pieces or use a cookie cutter the size of your jar to make circles for your cake layer.
Usually, parfaits are made with fruit cream and cake. You can use any fresh fruit, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, bananas, the list is up to your taste. You can make it super easy and use prepackaged whip cream or you can whip your own. Today, I am adding a layer of sweet cheese filling and a blueberry reduction. Both I think are simple but it all depends on your taste, your time and you occasion. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be fussed over for a dinner party or made by the kids with simple ingredients for a summer treat.
Angel Food Cake with a Cheesecake and a Fresh Blueberry Filling Topped with Whipped Cream
- 1 angel food cake
- 3 cups blueberries
- ½ cup raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon Chambord or Creme de Cassis
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water -divided use
Cream Cheese Layer
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup milk
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped Cream Layer
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
To make the blueberry filling:
- Add 1/8 cup water to a pan with the blueberries, liquor and sugar.
- Bring to a boil. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Stir the remaining water and cornstarch together.
- Stir into the blueberry mixture and stir until thickened. Cool.
To make the Cheesecake Filling:
- Add the cream cheese, heavy cream and milk to a mixer bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until combined. Add the sugar and vanilla.
To make the Whipped Cream:
- Simply add the ingredients to a cold clean mixing bowl. With a whisk beater beat on high until stiff peaks form.
To assemble: Put the angel food pieces in a large bowl or individual cups. Add the cheesecake filling. Add some blueberry filling. Top with the remaining cake mixture. Add the remaining blueberries. Top with the whipped cream. Use these directions loosely. There is no wrong way to layer these. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
If you are feeling really creative you can put some of the angel food cake pieces into a toaster over or under the broiler to toast then crumble into crunchy crumbs to add texture and crunch to your parfait or to sprinkle on top.
Lemon curd and fresh blueberries go very well together in a parfait, or right on a spoon! You can add pre-made lemon curd as one of your layers or here’s a recipe if you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- peel of 1 large lemon, cut in one long strip
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1-1/8 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- Over low heat, slowly bring the milk, vanilla, and lemon peel to a boil in a large heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
- Let the peel sit in the milk for at least 5 minutes.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the cornstarch and blend well.
- Remove it from the heat and discard the lemon peel.
- Little by little, beat 3/4 cup of the hot milk into the eggs.
- Slowly stir the egg mixture into the remaining milk in the saucepan, constantly stirring.
- When it is thoroughly incorporated, return the pan to high heat and let the crema boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy.
- Refrigerate in a air tight container, it will last several days.
About the Author
Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. Her Blog, Table and Dish is a website devoted to celebrating and curating the many ways that food binds us. Sally hopes that her recipes and images will inspire you to gather your friends and family in the kitchen to make memories, use the time to connect with busy kids, chat over mixing bowls, get messy, laugh, sing, set the table, clear the table, pass the salt, debate the days topics and pray. You can follow her here as a weekly contributor to 365Barrington and Heinen’s as well as via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at TableAndDish.com.
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Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meatheads) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.