Lemon Sorbet Parfaits with Prosecco

Sometimes a dish is so good that it remains in my memory long after I’ve tasted it. That’s the case with the special dessert featured here. Several years ago at Telepan on New York’s Upper West Side, I sampled a confection that grabbed my taste buds and wouldn’t let go. Scoops of quince sorbet, softly whipped cream, and toasted almonds were alternately layered in glasses, and then topped with a generous pouring of Prosecco. Later in the year, I returned to the restaurant and had a delicious variation prepared with lemon sorbet.

The bracing flavors of these fruit sherbets paired with the sweet cream would have been tempting enough, but the clever addition of the bubbly Prosecco elevated this confection to new heights. I kept thinking that this was definitely “an ice cream soda for grown ups!”

With 90-degree weather on its way, I pulled out my notes and worked on a version of my own, using lemon sorbet and adding some fresh blueberries along with the almonds. Be certain to use Prosecco, and not Champagne, because the latter is drier and doesn’t provide enough of a sweet accent. If you use a good purchased sorbet (available in many supermarkets), you can assemble this cooling dessert in less than 15 minutes—a big bonus for busy summer cooks.

1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 1/2 pints good-quality lemon sorbet
3/4 cup blueberries (sliced strawberries will work well too)
1/3 cup toasted almond slivers (See note.)
6 fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Chilled Prosecco

1. Whip the cream to soft peaks, and if not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.

2. When ready to assemble the parfaits, place a generous scoop of sorbet in a wide-mouthed wine glass. Spoon 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of the cream over the sorbet. Sprinkle some blueberries and almonds over the cream. Make a second layering of sorbet, cream, berries and almonds. Garnish the parfait with a mint sprig. Repeat to make 5 more servings.

3. Open the bottle of Prosecco, and pour 3 to 4 tablespoons into each glass. The sparkling wine will bubble up, and add a nice touch of foam to the parfaits. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Note: To toast almonds, spread on a rimmed baking sheet, and place on the center shelf of a preheated 350 degree oven until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Watch carefully.
Remove and cool.

© Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2011

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