Kiwi and Orange Parfait
Well a Happy New Year to you. I hope your holiday season was filled with delicious food and loving friends and family. Sorry I disappeared for a few weeks. There was certainly a lot of cooking and eating going on during the time I was away, so much so that I didn’t have time to stop and take pictures or write up recipes. It was a delicious holiday indeed.
Many enter the new year with resolve to eat better and I thought this recipe might help. I am certainly craving fresher and lighter foods after a couple weeks of heavier meals and perhaps a few too many sweets under my belt. As a little girl one of my favourite desserts was the parfait. There was something sophisticated and fancy about fruit layered with custard cream in a pretty stemmed glass.
This kiwi and orange parfait uses thick yogurt sweetened with honey and orange zest. It is the perfect antidote to all the rich sweets of Christmas time. It works well as a light and healthy dessert, an accompaniment to Sunday brunch or as a tasty afternoon snack.
Local fruits are getting sparse at this time of year. I am still eating my apple a day but am also starting to include some fruits from a bit further afield. Oranges are really lovely at this time of year and so are kiwis. My parents’ kiwi crop was quite successful this year so the kiwis in this parfait are actually grown locally on Vancouver Island. Most often kiwis come from California or from as far away as New Zealand. Kiwis add beautiful freshness and colour to any fruit platter or salad or just scoop out the flesh for a quick snack and daily dose of vitamin C.
I drained the yogurt for an hour or so using a coffee filter to create a nice thick, creamy texture and brightened it up with a little orange zest and local cranberry blossom honey. Drained yogurt works beautifully in place of sour cream or sweeten it slightly to replace whipped cream as an accompaniment to dessert. If you leave the yogurt to drain for a day or two it will thicken to the consistency of cream cheese which is also tasty.
Today’s recipe is really flexible. So be creative and use whatever fruits are in season and any flavour combination you enjoy. In the height of summer, this would be delicious with a combination of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and maybe a little fresh mint. You could even use sauteed apples and sweeten the yogurt with maple syrup instead of the orange zest and honey. A little granola or toasted nuts would be nice between the layers for a bit of crunch.
I am looking forward to the year ahead and keeping up with the cooking, eating and blogging. Wishing you a delicious and healthful 2011.
Kiwi & Orange Parfait
Lime zest instead of orange zest is equally delicious. If kiwis are not in season use whatever fruit looks best. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries would be delightful in the height of summer. I prefer to use a full-fat yogurt (3-4%) as it has better flavour and a bit of fat helps to absorb the nutrients in the yogurt. A lot of the low-fat or non-fat dairy products have stabilizers and other milk ingredients added which aren’t as healthful.
1 orange (preferably organic), zested
3 tbsp honey
3 cups plain yogurt, drained
4-6 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
Place the yogurt in a cheese cloth-lined sieve over a bowl or in a coffee filter lined with a paper filter set over a coffee mug. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. The whey will separate off and you will have nice thick yogurt. Discard the liquid.
Zest the orange. Add to the strained yogurt along with the honey.
Layer orange honey yogurt and kiwi fruit in your favourite glass or bowl.
Garnish with an orange slice or sprig of mint.