It’s always nice to be able to cook and eat a hot breakfast, but sometimes I just want something very quick and easy to start my day. This simple yogurt parfait is one that I come back to again and again. It’s easy to make, subject to all kinds of variations and is perfect for a single serving, although it can be made for a larger group and spooned out of a big dish, as well. It’s so easy that I hesitate to call it a recipe, in fact. I rarely measure anything that goes into it and, instead, just wing it as I go.
The recipe uses plain or vanilla yogurt and frozen berries. I will use fresh berries when I have them, but frozen berries are available all year round and still deliver great flavor. In fact, they actually meld into the yogurt a bit better as they defrost, giving the parfait a more uniform texture. The interesting thing about this parfait is the brulee topping. Much like a creme brulee, the finial layer of yogurt is topped of with a generous coating of sugar that is caramelized using a kitchen torch. The crispy topping adds a nice texture, and the sugar adds a hint of caramel flavor to the whole dish. Plus, it gives me an extra excuse to use my kitchen torch!
The parfaits can be made in advance and refrigerated before serving, if necessary, but the topping is best when it is fresh so be sure to save the sugar for serving.
Bruléed Yogurt Parfait
Vanilla or plain yogurt
fresh or frozen berries
sugar, regular or superfine
You will probably use 1 cup of yogurt and 1/2 cup berries per serving. Feel free to change the proportions to suit your tastes, the size of your dishes or the number of people you wish to serve.
In a single-serving heat-resistant bowl (glass or pyrex), layer yogurt and berries into 3-5 layers, making sure to top the parfait with a layer of yogurt. Sprinkle sugar generously over the top of the yogurt and toast with a kitchen torch until caramelized and bubbling. Let sugar set, then serve.
Parfait is best when berries have had a few minutes to soften.
Note: While creme brulee can go under the broiler to caramelize, I don’t recommend it for this yogurt dish, as the heat from the broiler can curdle the yogurt and cause it to separate.