Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Foodie Penpals...Featuring Creamy Maple-Blueberry Parfaits

This month, I signed up to take part in a really fun monthly group called Foodie Penpals. The group was started by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean. Each month, participants are paired with another member of the group...then we send them a box of food goodies to enjoy. My foodie friend this month is Samantha from the blog Vegetarian stop by and give her some love!

Before picking out our goodies, we're encouraged to e-mail our recipient to find out about any food dislikes, allergies, etc. I told Samantha that I especially enjoy trying regional specialties from around the country. She lives in Michigan, so she made sure to include a few foods from her state. When I received my box, it felt like Christmas...I couldn't wait to see what goodies were inside. My box contained some wonderful treats: a large bottle of Michigan maple syrup, a yummy orange-dark chocolate bar, red wheat berries, a tasty spice blend that's perfect for seasoning grilled meats...and even treats and a hand-knit catnip mouse for my Lucy! 

Anybody who includes my sweet Lucy-cat in the bounty is aces in my book. Needless to say, Lucy LOVES her "mousie." She's very protective of it...I actually found her sleeping next to the mouse one morning with one paw draped over it to make sure than nobody took it from her as she slept. As you can see from this picture, she's quite smitten with it!

I was particularly drawn to the maple syrup...I wanted to find a wonderful recipe using it to show Samantha just how much I loved it! I found blueberries on sale for .99 at Sprouts, so I went looking for the perfect maple-blueberry recipe. I hit the jackpot at Epicurious...making a few tweaks to a parfait that features blueberries, maple syrup, a creamy base, and tart lemon. I subbed lime for lemon...zest and juice, used crushed cinnamon shortbread in place of gingersnaps, and used a combo of maple-infused whipped cream and blueberry Greek yogurt for the cream portion of the parfait.

Creamy Maple-Blueberry Parfaits
adapted from Epicurious

Step 1:  Add the following ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat: 1 1/3 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, and the zest from one lime. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries begin to pop. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. When cool, add 2/3 cup fresh blueberries and 1 tbs. lime juice.

Step 2:  Add 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl and add 1 container blueberry Greek preferred brand is Chobani. Gently fold the yogurt into the whipped cream.

Step 3:  Crush enough cookies of your choice to equal one cup. I used cinnamon shortbread cookies, but Biscoff or graham crackers would also work nicely. You could use granola instead. To make the parfaits, layer the ingredients as follows in wine glasses: 2 tbs. of the blueberry-maple mixture, 1/3 cup of the blueberry-maple cream, 2 tbs. of the crushed cookies, another layer of the blueberry-maple cream and cookies...ending with 2 more tbs. of the blueberries. 

These parfaits are layer upon layer of goodness...and not overly sweet! They make a great dessert, but I would also serve them as part of a weekend brunch. The maple and blueberry combine very nicely in both the compote and the creamy layers, and the crunchy cookies are a nice texture contrast. The lime zest and juice provides just enough tartness in the background. The colors are vibrant and pretty as well...this recipe is a real winner!

Thank you to Samantha for sending me such a fun foodie box this month! If you want to join the fun, all you have to do is click the Foodie Penpals link in this post. But do it quick...pairings are announced on the 5th of each month! It's a really fun way to meet fellow food lovers...and try some new, fun foods!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh! How delicious does that look!? What a fun group C:


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