Creamy and tart with bright fresh flavors, these strawberry parfaits with lemon coconut cream can be assembled ahead of time.
When it comes to entertaining there are two things I’ve come to learn: keep the menu simple and make as much ahead of time as possible. These two things keep me sane and make receiving guests as effortless as possible.
When it comes to dessert during the spring and summer months, there’s nothing simpler than pairing fresh fruit with cream. Suffice it to say it’s hard to go wrong when you pair fresh berries and cream, the two are age-old friends for good reason. The sweet-tart taste of berries counters the richness of the cream.
In the case of these lemon strawberry parfaits the cream is a whipped coconut cream brightened with the addition of a tangy honey lemon curd.
Light and subtly sweet with a puckery zing, the curd is like a little burst of sunshine. Most lemon curds call for the grated zest of lemons, but swaping out the zest for a bit of lemon extract makes for a smoother final curd without sacrificing the assertive flavor that the peel brings to the mix.
The sharp taste of lemon is then gently tempered by the creamy whipped coconut milk. And, let me tell you, this cream is right at home slipped between layers of honey and vanilla infused strawberries.
A heap of strawberries are sliced and tossed with raw honey and a hint of vanilla extract to add a layer of extra sweetness and depth, but if you’re so inclined you could easily add a little rum or the liquor of your choice for the adult set.
Creamy, but not heavy, with big, bright flavors, the best part of these parfaits is that each of the parts can be made ahead of time and assembled right before serving which makes them an ideal choice for fuss-free entertaining.
I created this recipe as part of my ongoing partnership with the people at McCormick who are celebrating spring entertaining.
A TIP FROM THE MCCORMICK KITCHENS: Substitute pure lemon extract with a 1:1 proportion. For example, 1 teaspoon McCormick pure lemon extract is the equivalent to 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
For more spring entertaining recipe ideas from McCormick or for more ideas on how to create a memorable desserts with McCormick lemon and vanilla extract, please visit Facebook.com/McCormickSpice and Pinterest.com/McCormickSpices.