No, they’re not red while & blue, but these key lime parfaits are an excellent dessert for any 4th of July celebration. Most of the work can be done in advance so all you have to do is assemble right before serving.
Make these in July when local strawberries are in season. Try to find smaller, sweeter strawberries at your local farmer’s market. The sweetness of the strawberries balances the tartness of the key lime.
I won’t mention any names, but last time I served these my friends literally licked their glasses clean. I take that as a serious complement! These parfaits are deliciously refreshing and won’t weigh you down, so lick away.
Key Lime Parfaits
½ cup key lime juice, fresh or bottled (such as Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice)
¼ cup sugar
Grated rind of 1 lime
2 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 can Organic whipped cream (like Reddi-whip) or homemade whipped cream
1 pint Organic wild or commercial strawberries, stems removed and sliced
4 whole strawberries reserved for garnish
Grated rind of 1 additional lime for garnish (optional)
1. Fill medium saucepan with 2” of water and bring to a boil. While waiting for water to boil, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium glass or metal bowl. Stir lime mixture with a whisk until well combined. Once the water in the saucepan is boiling, reduce heat to simmer and put the bowl with the lime mixture on top of the saucepan to simulate a double boiler. (Note: You can use an actual double boiler if you have one). Cook the lime mixture over the simmering water, whisking most of the time, until the mixture thickens slightly (about 12 minutes). If you would like, use a thermometer to make sure temperature of lime mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice (about 1 tray) and water to make an ice bath. Place the bowl with the lime mixture on top of the ice (the smaller bowl inside of the larger bowl). Keep the bowl in the ice bath until the lime mixture comes to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. You can make the lime mixture up to 3 days in advance.
3. To serve the parfaits: Spray or spoon about 1 tbs. whipped cream into the bottom of each 8oz glass (4 total). Top each with a layer of slices strawberries, then a tablespoon of the lime mixture. Repeat layers, ending with whipped cream. Top each parfait with 1 whole strawberry and sprinkle with grated lime zest, if you are using it. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 serving (can easily be doubled)
· The lime mixture should thicken slightly while cooking and will thicken more in the ice bath. If you would it to be thicker, you can add ½ tsp. cornstarch or agar agar (follow package directions) while it is cooking over the double boiler.
· If you want to make this more like a deconstructed key lime pie, pulse 8 graham cracker cookie sheets in a food processor and layer graham cracker crumbs between the whipped cream and the strawberries.
· Use any leftover lime mixture with sliced strawberries or as a topping for vanilla ice cream.
*This recipe is inspired by one that appeared in Cooking Light in 2004.