Cherry and Pistachio Parfait

Cherry and pistachio parfait (or nougat glacé ) is a classic French dessert. Flecks of red, green, and orange stand out against the delicate, white meringue base. This colorful treat is a lovely dessert for holidays or any special occasion.

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Cherry and Pistachio Parfait

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Freezing time: 2 hours

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

1 navel orange

4 cups water

3-1/4 cups sugar

1 15-ounce can sour cherries

5 eggs

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup shelled green pistachios, coarsely chopped

  1. Slice the orange, widthwise, into eight equal pieces.

  2. Bring a pot of water to boil, and plunge the orange slices into boiling water for 30 seconds.

  3. Remove the orange slices with a slotted spoon and discard the water.

  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3.

    This process removes bitter oils in the skin.

  5. In a pot, combine 4 cups water and 2 cups sugar and bring to a boil.

  6. Immerse the orange slices and reduce heat to simmer.

  7. Place a square of aluminum foil over the top of the orange slices and then place a small saucer on top of that to hold down the foil.

    This setup keeps the oranges from bobbing out of the sugar water and drying out.

  8. Simmer for 1 hour or until soft.

  9. In a separate pot, combine the cherries, their packing juice, and 1/2 cup sugar and simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced by 3/4.

  10. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one large bowl and the whites in another.

  11. Add 1/4 cup sugar to the egg yolks, and whisk over a double boiler until the mixture becomes thick and frothy.

  12. Drain the cherries, and fold the cherries into the egg yolk mixture.

  13. Drain the candied oranges. Chop all the oranges except for 1 slice and add the chopped oranges and pistachios to the egg yolk mixture.

  14. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites. Whip with a whisk or an electric mixer until it triples in volume.

  15. Add 1/2 cup sugar in a slow drizzle while mixing and continue mixing until the whites reach stiff peaks.

  16. Whisk the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, all at the same time.

  17. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold gently into the mixture.

  18. Line a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan or a 10-inch cake pan with plastic wrap.

  19. Place the reserved orange slice in the center of the pan and pour the parfait mixture into the lined pan. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, invert the pan onto a platter and remove the plastic wrap (if it's stuck to the parfait). Cut the parfait into slices.

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