Orange and Buttermilk Parfait
Parfait means "perfect" in French, and a slice of this dreamy dessert is just that. Cream and egg whites are the base; orange-flower water, orange zest, and kumquats add layers of citrus flavor.
- Servings: 8
Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2006
- 2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup cold buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange-flower water (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Candied Kumquats in Syrup
- Pesticide-free orange blossoms, for garnish (optional)
Line an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing a 5-inch overhang; set aside. Put 3 tablespoons water into a small bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 7 minutes.
Heat 1/4 cup cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm to the touch. Pour into gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
Bring sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook until syrup registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, put egg whites and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Reduce to medium-low speed; add syrup in a steady stream. Raise to medium-high; beat until cool, thick, and glossy. Transfer to a bowl.
Put remaining 3/4 cup cream, the buttermilk, orange zest and juice, orange-flower water, vanilla, and gelatin mixture into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Transfer to a large bowl. Using a spatula, fold in egg whites in 2 batches. Transfer to prepared pan; smooth top. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (up to overnight).
To serve, lift out parfait by overhang; cut into slices, dipping a sharp knife into warm water and wiping it dry each time. Serve with candied kumquats. Garnish with orange blossoms if desired.