grape parfaits

The other night my daughter asked to make something special for dessert. She didn’t have any clear ideas—she just wanted to cook.

“Well,” I said, “there’s grape filling in the fridge…. Oh, I have an idea! Watch this.” And then we proceeded to beat cream cheese and whip cream and thicken grapes and toast graham crackers.

I instructed her to get the wine glasses from the cupboard and showed her how to fill them—a blob of cream cheese, a plop of grape sauce, a sprinkling of crackers—repeating the layers until everything was used up.

It ended up looking like a put-together dessert rather than the hodge-podge of ingredients that it was. It tasted right classy, too—rich, fruity, and cool.

Grape Parfaits
This looks a lot more complex than it actually is. I was just winging it—no recipe and no measurements, using up what I had on hand.

No grape filling? Sub in another pie filling such as sour cherry, blueberry, rhubarb and strawberry, apricot, etc.

For the grape filling:
2 cups of grape sauce, skins in, seeds removed
1-2 tablespoons Therm-Flo or cornstarch
½ cup sugar

Combine everything and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and chill.

For the cream cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream

Whip the cream. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla. Fold in the whipped cream.

For the graham cracker crumbs:
1 ½ packages graham crackers, ground into crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are toasty and a couple shades darker. Immediately remove from the skillet so they don’t burn.

To assemble:
Get out 6 to 8 of your fanciest goblets. Put a spoonful of cream cheese mixture in each, then a spoonful of grape sauce, and then a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs. Repeat the process until all the components are used up or the glasses are full, whichever comes first.

This same time, years previous: chocolate yogurt cakeroasted tomato sauce, pasta with sauteed peppers and onions

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