Sunday afternoon is family time with my side of the family. Ever since I can remember, my family has always held to the tradition of a big Sunday Dinner (lunch) as a family. I’m so thankful my mom continues to put the time into these big meals. I know they are a lot of work! My ‘part’ in the Sunday meal each week is dessert. So, this past Sunday, I wanted to do something with blueberries we picked last week.
I chose these blueberry parfaits. Such a simple dessert as far as the concept goes- just layers of vanilla pudding, blueberries, and whipped cream. Oh, but it was just what I was looking for- Light, comforting, simple, fresh and eye-catching, too! The blueberries bring the perfect burst along with the creaminess from the pudding and cream.
The homemade vanilla pudding is what makes the dessert extra special. (Packaged instant -puddings are one of the products I no longer buy- I’d rather not serve the chemicals and preservatives with my pudding, if you don’t mind! See the ingredient list here) Homemade pudding is not hard to make. It just takes a little extra time and effort at the stove-top. But you will be pleasantly surprised at the light, yet rich flavor of real pudding.
Finish the parfaits by layering the pudding, blueberries and fresh whipped cream.
Yield: 8 servings
- 4 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into several chunks
- 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Fresh Blueberries
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 Tbs. sugar
Combine the milk, sugar, corn starch, and salt to a saucepan. Over medium- medium/high heat, stir frequently with a whisk and allow it to begin thicken a little bit. Once it begins to thicken, cook like this for several minutes more.
(Note: At this point, the mixture is not going to be real thick. You are mostly wanting it to be fully heated through and slightly thicker than when you began.)
Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the egg yolks to a mixer with a whisk attachment. (or in a bowl and hand-whisk.) Whisk for 2-3 minutes. The eggs should look a little “foamy”.
With the mixer still whisking on low, carefully pour about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs. Continue whisking on low until well combined. (this is called “tempering the eggs” to keep them from scrambling)
Add all of this to the rest of the milk mixture. Return to the heat and hand-whisk for an additional minute to incorporate the eggs well.
Cook over medium- medium/high heat for a few more minutes (3-4), until the whole mixture thickens up to a pudding-like consistency. You should be stirring constantly with a spoon.
(Note: You will be stirring and stirring, wondering if anything will ever happen- and all of a sudden, the mixture will start to become thick like pudding. It’s pretty neat!)
Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla and chunks of butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted and it is all well incorporated.
(If you have never made homemade pudding before- do keep in mind that it will not be as ‘yellow’ as packaged pudding, if that is what you are used to. It also may not be quite as thick as packaged pudding.)
Pour all of the pudding mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. This will help to be sure it is completely smooth and catch any undissolved “flecks” of sugar that may have formed on the bottom of the saucepan. (that happens sometimes)
Place plastic-wrap over the top of the pudding- actually laying the plastic wrap on top of the pudding itself. This keeps the pudding from developing a “skin” on the top.
The pudding will thicken more as it refrigerates. I suggest refrigerating overnight to allow the pudding to cool all the way through and completely setting. Or, if you are going to serve in the evening, you could probably get by with making it first thing in the morning.
For the whipped cream- add 2 cups of cream and 5 Tbs. sugar to a chilled mixing bowl. Whisk on high until the cream turns fluffy and develops stiff peaks (meaning, when you lift the whisk out of the cream, the ‘peaks’ from the cream do not fall back over, but stay in place)
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will taste best if you only do this shortly before assembling.
Layer pudding, blueberries, whipped cream, and then repeat those layers in individual parfait glasses or mason jars.
You could assemble these several hours before serving and store in the refrigerator.
Pudding recipe adapted from: Emeril Lagasse