Lemon Berry Parfaits

Tested & Perfected Recipes

These parfaits have naturally sweet berries layered with a luscious lemon cream.

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Fresh berries are delicious on their own but if you’re looking for a way to dress them up, elegant parfaits are the way to go. Here, I’ve layered them with a luscious lemon cream – essentially a lemon curd lightened with whipped cream – to brighten their natural sweetness.

What you’ll need to make Lemon Berry Parfaits

Lemon berry parfaits

How to make them

Begin by making the lemon cream. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice.

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Next, set up your double boiler. You need it for this recipe so that the eggs don’t curdle. If you don’t have a double boiler you can make your own; simply place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Just make sure the hot water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

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Melt the butter, then add the lemon mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a metal spoon.

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Stir in the lemon zest and chill in refrigerator.

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In the meantime, whip the cream to firm peaks. You’ll know it’s ready when you lift the whisk out of the bowl and the peaks stand up and hold their shape without drooping over.  Keep a close eye on it; if the cream gets grainy, you’ve gone too far and should start over.

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Gently fold the chilled lemon mixture into the whipped cream, retaining as much volume as possible. To do this, use a rubber spatula to cut down into the center of the cream and sweep up the side of the bowl, scooping up cream from the bottom and bringing it to the top. This motion gently turns the mixtures over on top of each other, combining them in the process.

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Finally, assemble the parfaits. Spoon a handful of berries into each parfait glass and top with a generous dollop of lemon cream. Spoon in more berries and another layer of cream. Chill until ready to serve. (The parfaits can be assembled up to this point several hours ahead of time.) Right before serving, top each parfait with a cookie and sprig of fresh mint.

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Keep in mind that this dessert is only as good as the berries you make it with. I like to use a combination of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries but only if they’re all sweet and juicy. Enjoy!

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Lemon Berry Parfaits

These parfaits have naturally sweet berries layered with a luscious lemon cream.

Servings: 4-6, depending on the size of your parfait glasses

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 3 large lemons
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (see note below)
  • 1 cup whipping cream, chilled
  • 5 cups assorted fresh berries (if using strawberries, cut into bite-size pieces)
  • A few springs fresh mint, for garnish
  • 4-6 shortbread or ginger cookies (optional)

Instructions

  1. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat well. Add the sugar and lemon juice and whisk until sugar is mostly dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Fill the bottom of a double boiler pan with an inch of water. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low. Melt the butter in the top of double boiler. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick enough to coat a metal spoon, about 10 minutes. (If you get any bits of cooked egg, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove.) Stir in the lemon zest and pour into a shallow bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  3. Pour the chilled whipping cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until the cream holds firm peaks (when you lift the whisk or beaters out of the bowl, the peak should hold its shape without drooping; if the cream looks grainy, you’ve gone too far and should start over). Be sure the lemon mixture is completely cool; then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold it into the whipped cream.
  4. Place a large spoonful of berries into each glass (leave room for 2 layers of berries and 2 layers of cream) and top with a generous dollop of lemon cream. Top with another layer of berries and lemon cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. (Parfaits can be assembled up to this point several hours ahead of time.) Right before serving, top each parfait with a shortbread cookie and sprig of fresh mint.
  5. Note: Anytime a recipe calls for lemon juice and lemon zest, be sure to zest the lemon before squeezing out the juice.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 461
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 64g
  • Sugar: 55g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Cholesterol: 177mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jen,

    Approximately how long should I cook the egg and lemon mixture to be thick enough?

    Lora

    • — Lora Tchekoratova on January 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lora, It should take about 10 minutes.

      • — Jenn on January 2, 2019
      • Reply
  • Would this lemon curd recipe pair well with the cheesecake bars?
    Is this your go to lemon curd recipe?
    Thanks

    • — Gina on December 14, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Gina, You could serve these with the cheesecake bars — and yes I love this lemon curd. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2018
      • Reply
      • Jen, Jen, Jen!
        This lemon curd is so delicious! It was a beautiful side addition to your cheesecake bars. So silky and smooth….you’re a rockstar girlfriend🤩!!
        Thanks for the quick response btw.

        • — Gina on January 16, 2019
        • Reply
  • OK so I totally cheat and use Trader Joe’s lemon curd. The consistency is just better than when I’ve attempted to make it. My husband came up with the idea of crumbling the shortbread on top instead of serving it whole. It’s insanely good! My family loves this dessert!

    • — Sarah on December 5, 2017
    • Reply
  • These were wonderful — easy to make, love the lemony flavor and the combination of berries, and a big hit for a backyard get-together.

  • I did this last weekend and they came out great. For a healthier turn on the recipe since I cannot have fatty foods I substituted the heavy cream for yoghurt a bit of gelatin and was just perfect!

  • I love this recipe! The flavors are fantastic, and it’s a great way to enjoy some fruit. I have a question though. When I fold the lemon curd into my whipping cream, my lemon whipping cream is soupy and won’t hold together. I make sure to beat my whipping cream until it has stiff peaks. What do you think I am doing wrong?

    • Hi Nina, It sounds like your lemon curd might not be thick enough or cold enough. Are you cooking it until it coats the spoon and chilling it well?

  • Really enjoyed this recipe! The lemon custard took about 20-25minutes to thicken with my small double boiler. This was my first time making a parfait, was super happy with how it turned out. Everyone at the table loved how light and refreshing this dish tasted.

  • Would it be possible to substitute the fresh berries with a blueberry compote? Or would the compote be too heavy and sink into the lemon curd?

    • Hi Raquel, The lemon curd is pretty light since it’s mixed with whipped cream; I do think the compote would sink into it. Sorry!

  • can you make these with yoghurt instead of cream?

    • Hi Maya, It may be a bit tart with the lemon and the yogurt but if you sweeten the yogurt enough it should work.

  • I bought some lemon curd at the store for another recipe. Could I just use this with the recipe? How much lemon curd would I use with the one cup whipped cream?

    • Hi Janet, That would work fine. I’m not sure how much it would be though; I’ve never measured. Maybe start with one cup and add more to taste.

  • Great idea for a light summer dessert! I’ve done something similar in a large crystal bowl and layered mousse with fruit and whipped cream! It makes a beauitful dessert and it’s delicious! I can’t wait to try the lemon cream!

  • Really delicious. I made this for dessert for a casual dinner with my husband on the back deck. We both loved how rich, yet light, the lemon cream was. It took me about 205minutes to get the lemon mixture to thicken on the stove, but maybe my bowl was too thick.

  • Love love love this combo of ingredients. I am soooo “pinning” this recipe…

    • — Elizabeth C. in Kansas
    • Reply
  • Visually appealing, easy, tasty,delicious…need I say more?

  • These were so easy to make and a hit at my last brunch party!

  • this is so simple and so elegant! thank you for sharing this and have a great day:)

  • Love lemon curd! what a great idea lemon curd, whipped cream and fresh berries…yum! .. thanks for sharing.

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