This recipe helps satisfy the urge for something sweet, even if it does include a tradeoff in the form of fat, given that the dessert is made with cream.
A good way to bump up flavor in the absence of sugar is to rely on flavorings and extracts. This recipe used two Cook’s products: vanilla puree and strawberry extract, both available at www.cooksvanilla.com. The puree, a suspension of vanilla extract and crushed vanilla beans, is more intense than simple extract. If you don't wish to go to the trouble of finding it, use regular vanilla extract to taste.
Make Ahead: The lemon curd and the strawberry compote can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. The parfaits and tuiles can be made a day in advance. Top dessert portions with the crumbled tuiles just before serving.
- For the lemon curd
- 1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute such as Lucerne Best of the Egg brand
- 1/2 cup (granulated) Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
- Juice from 4 large lemons (1 cup)
- Finely grated zest from 2 large lemons (2 tablespoons)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Pinch salt
- For the strawberry compote
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut in half (2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons (granulated) Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
- 2 teaspoons strawberry extract (see headnote)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla puree (see headnote; may substitute vanilla paste)
- For the tuiles
- 3/4 cup almond flour (available at Whole Foods Market stores)
- 1/3 cup (granulated) Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
- Pinch salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla puree (may substitute vanilla paste)
- 1 ounce (1/3 cup) blanched slivered almonds, toasted (see NOTE)
- For the whipped cream
- 1 cup chilled heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 teaspoon (granulated) Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vanilla puree (may substitute vanilla paste)
For the lemon curd: Whisk together the egg substitute, Splenda, lemon juice, zest and salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Add the butter and place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 6 minutes, using a wooden spoon or scraper to stir the mixture constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the curd into a small mixing bowl, pushing it through with a flexible spatula. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming on the curd. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it to set overnight. The yield is 3 cups.
For the compote: Combine the strawberries, water and Splenda in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries begin to soften. Turn off the heat, then add the strawberry extract and vanilla puree. Use the back of a spoon to lightly mash the fruit into a compote. Cool completely, then transfer the compote to an airtight container and refrigerate it overnight.
For the tuiles: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner (preferable) or parchment paper.
Combine the almond flour, Splenda, salt, butter, egg whites, almond extract and vanilla puree in a small bowl to form the tuile batter. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the baking sheet and use the back of the spoon to spread the batter into a thin circle about 3 inches in diameter. Repeat to create 8 tuiles on the sheet, spaced about an inch apart. Sprinkle each round of tuile batter with the almonds. Bake for 8 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown around the edges.
Use a small offset metal spatula to loosen the just-baked tuiles around the edges, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Repeat to use the remaining batter; you should have a total of 16 tuiles. Store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
For the whipped cream: Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held mixer; beat on low, then high speed until it begins to thicken. Stop to add the Splenda and vanilla puree; beat on high speed until soft peaks form.
To assemble (several hours before serving or up to overnight): Have 6 parfait or wineglasses at hand.
Use a rubber spatula to fold half of the lemon curd into the whipped cream until it is completely incorporated. Divide the strawberry compote evenly among the glasses. Top each portion with the remaining lemon curd, and then the lemony whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Just before serving, crumble 6 of the tuiles and sprinkle over each portion. Serve the remaining tuiles on the side.
NOTE: Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring or shaking the skillet often, until they become fragrant.
From Real Entertaining columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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