The perfect finale for a warm summer night. Store-bought meringue cookies add crunch, while pistachios lace the layers with nutty sweetness. Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes. Notes: For convenience, prepare vanilla cream and berries through step 3 up to 3 hours before serving. Cover and chill separately until ready to assemble. Or, prepare the parfaits entirely and refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 1 hour before serving.
Sunset JUNE 2006
1. With a sharp paring knife, split vanilla bean open lengthwise. Use the knife to scrape the tiny black seeds into a small bowl; reserve pod. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the whipping cream to the bowl and mix well to separate vanilla seeds.
2. Cut vanilla pod completely in half lengthwise. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, combine vanilla pod halves, granulated sugar, and wine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly; discard vanilla pod halves.
3. Stir berries into wine mixture in pan. Chill berry mixture in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 3 hours.
4. Meanwhile, in the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine vanilla-cream mixture and remaining whipping cream. Beat until soft peaks form.
5. Fold meringues into whipped cream mixture. In a 12-ounce glass, layer 1/8 of the berry mixture, 1/8 of the whipped cream mixture, and 1/8 of the pistachios. Repeat layering and top with a few fresh berries. Layer ingredients in the same order in 3 more glasses.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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