I love the combination of strawberries and cream. In fact, this classic combination has science behind it! The tartness of strawberries brings out the sweetness in the cream's flavor. You can try this experiment yourself. Eat a strawberry, then take a sip of milk. You'll notice that the milk tastes much sweeter after you have bitten into the strawberry.
This dessert is somewhat like Eton Mess, but has more texture and flavor. I love that recipe, but it always seemed to be missing something. I was watching an edition of Nigella Bites, where she was making a Grasshopper Torte, and saw that she used marshmallows melted in milk as a base. Adding some melted marshmallows makes the texture of the parfait a little more sturdy, and it adds a nice note of sweetness.
This recipe must be made ahead of time, which means that it is perfect for spring and summer entertaining. And it's a no bake recipe! Since the strawberries are so important to the recipe, they must be the best you can find; firm, sweet, tart, and tender. You can buy the meringues for this recipe; some bakeries sell them, or make your own, since that treat is so easy.
You can make this dessert with other fruits 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.
Use your prettiest wine glasses or parfait glasses for this easy dessert. Serve it with ice tea spoons so your guests can easily scoop up every sweet spoonful. This dessert is perfect after a dinner of steak cooked on the grill, a green salad, some toasted garlic bread, and some grilled vegetable skewers.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 24 small meringue cookies, crumbled
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk and the mini marshmallows. Microwave on medium for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue microwaving on medium power for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
- Let the marshmallow mixture cool for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Then, in a large bowl, beat the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat. Gently fold the marshmallow mixture into the cream.
- Then fold the crumbled meringue cookies into the cream mixture.
- Layer the cream mixture with the sliced strawberries in 6 to 8 wine glasses or parfait glasses. Cover and chill for 3 to 6 hours before serving.