Autumnal Parfait


This recipe for a delightful seasonal dessert is from Chef Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale.


  • 2 sticks cinnamon

  • 8 whole cloves

  • 6 allspice berries

  • 2 star anise

  • 3 ½ cups grade B maple syrup

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 (3-pound) sugar pumpkin, peeled, halved, seeds removed, and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes

  • 2 cups apple cider

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 6 fresh sage leaves

  • Apple Sage Cake, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes


  1. Wrap 1 stick cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and star anise in a small piece of cheesecloth; using kitchen twine, tie to enclose. In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 2 cups maple syrup, and sugar. Add spice packet and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Add pumpkin and cover surface of liquid with a piece of parchment paper to keep pumpkin submerged. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, barely simmering, until pumpkin is tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let candied pumpkin cool completely in cooking liquid.

  2. Place apple cider in a medium saucepan. Add remaining cinnamon stick and place over medium-high heat. Cook until liquid has reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 7 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and discard; stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups maple syrup, heavy cream, and salt. Transfer mixture to a heated whipped cream canister filled with three cream chargers.

  3. Fill a small skillet 1/8-inch high with canola oil; heat over medium heat. Add sage leaves. Cook, until crisp and fragrant, about 25 seconds; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  4. In each of six parfait glasses, place 2 or 3 cubes of cake in the bottom of the glasses. Top with 3 pieces of candied pumpkin, 2 more cake cubes, and 3 more pieces of candied pumpkin. Drizzle some of the pumpkin cooking liquid over the parfait, and top with cream mixture. Garnish each parfait with a fried sage leaf and serve.

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