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Vanilla Berry Parfaits with Meringue Cookies

Prepare the custard a couple of days ahead, then assemble and chill the dessert before serving. Using store-bought meringue cookies saves you the step of baking them.

Cooking Light JUNE 2006

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 parfait)


  • Custard:
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon framboise (raspberry brandy)
  • 1 2/3 cups fresh blackberries (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh raspberries (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 12 large fat-free vanilla meringue cookies (such as Miss Meringue), divided


To prepare custard, place milk in a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from bean; add seeds and bean to milk. Heat milk mixture over medium heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around the edge (do not boil); discard bean.

Combine sugar and next 3 ingredients (through egg yolks) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Gradually add hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted. Pour into a bowl; cool completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Combine preserves and framboise in large bowl. Reserve 6 blackberries, 6 raspberries, and 6 blueberries. Fold remaining berries into preserves mixture.

Reserve 6 cookies. Place remaining cookies in a large zip-top plastic bag. Crush cookies using a rolling pin.

Spoon 1/4 cup custard into each of 6 tall glasses; spoon 1/3 cup berry mixture over each serving; top each serving with 1/3 cup crushed meringues, 1/4 cup custard, and 1/3 cup berry mixture. Top each serving with 1 blackberry, 1 raspberry, 1 blueberry, and 1 cookie.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 268
  • Calories from fat: 21%
  • Fat: 6.3g
  • Saturated fat: 3.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Protein: 5.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 48.8g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg
  • Iron: 0.6mg
  • Sodium: 125mg
  • Calcium: 149mg

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Vanilla Berry Parfaits with Meringue Cookies Recipe