My lemon curd parfait brings a kiss of sweet tanginess to the warm months, delectable to spoon up for cool refreshment. Prepared with homemade lemon curd layered with a thick, rich vanilla bean cream and crumbled shortbread cookies, this lemon curd parfait recipe is the perfect dessert-in-a-glass fit for spring and summer!
A Delectably Lemony Parfait
Bright and sunny months call for a bright and sunny dessert, and little is brighter and sunnier than a dessert brimming with lemons.
My, oh, my, do I love lemons...
I love their fresh and tangy flavor that just seems to quench and bring a bit of zip into everything that they're added to.
Take these lemon curd parfaits, for example, a fantastically luscious dessert to whip up during the warm months when I'm craving something sweet and refreshing, and delectably spoonable.
I've always been a sucker for a good dessert-in-a-glass, one that I can prepare and keep nice and cold in the fridge for whenever my sweet tooth beckons, and this lemony little parfait is the perfect pick…
Prepared with layers of homemade lemon curd, crumbled shortbread cookies plus a rich, vanilla bean-infused cream made with a combination of whipped cream and Greek yogurt, this lemon curd parfait is an easy and elegant little dessert to cool off with!
My Lemon Curd Parfait with Vanilla Bean Cream
Preparing these lemon curd parfaits is a fun little treat, and they look so vibrant and pretty when all layered up!
Making a batch of lemon curd is very simple, and requires only lemon juice and zest, plus sugar and eggs.
I use a double boiler method to cook the curd, and gently stir it with a rubber spatula for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the curd thickens.
And once the curd is cooling in the fridge, I prep the vanilla bean cream, which is just Greek yogurt, the paste of a vanilla bean pod, some whipped cream and a bit of sugar.
Here's a peek at my lemon curd parfait recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my lemon curd and chill it completely in the fridge. (You can expedite this by carefully chilling the lemon curd in an ice bath, stirring until the curd is cold.)
- Next, I prepare my vanilla bean cream, and keep that cold until ready to assemble the parfaits.
- To assemble the lemon curd parfaits, I add both my lemon curd and my vanilla bean cream to two separate piping bags (or ziplock bags with the bottom corner cut off), and have my crushed shortbread cookies ready.
- To the bottoms of four glasses, I add a layer of crushed cookies, then pipe in some lemon curd, followed by the vanilla bean cream. I do another layer of each of these once more, then garnish each lemon curd parfait with a bit of lemon zest and a lemon flavored rolled wafer cookie.
- I serve immediately while cold, or keep chilled in the fridge.
Lemon Curd Parfait
by Ingrid Beer
This sweet and tangy lemon curd parfait is made with homemade lemon curd, vanilla bean cream and shortbread cookies!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 765 calories per serving
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 53 minutes
- ¾ cup, plus 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, divided use
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- ⅔ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 to 5 lemons)
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, cold
- 1 vanilla-bean pod, cut length-wise and scraped for paste (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- 8 ounces cold whipping cream, cold
- 16 butter shortbread cookies, crushed chunky (I used “Walker’s” brand)
- Lemon zest curls, for garnish
- 4 lemon flavored rolled wafer cookies, for garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare your lemon curd, add the ¾ cup of sugar and the lemon zest to a medium glass or steel bowl, and incorporate the two together with your fingers. Next, add the whole eggs and the yolks, followed by the lemon juice, and gently combine with a whisk, just until the sugar is dissolved (be careful not to whisk too hard as you don’t want to incorporate air into the mixture).
- Set the bowl with the lemon curd mixture over a pot of gently simmering water (double-boiler method), making sure that the bowl is not actually touching the simmering water. Using a rubber spatula, continuously and gently stir the lemon curd mixture, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl, cooking for roughly 6-8 minutes or until the curd mixture thickens and has a pudding-like consistency.
- Remove the bowl from the pot of simmering water and wipe the condensation off of the bottom with a towel. Then, strain the curd into a clean bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming.
- Place into the refrigerator to completely chill until ready to assemble the parfaits. (For quicker cooling, you can strain the warm curd into a bowl set into a larger bowl filled with ice, and carefully stir with a clean spatula for a few minutes until cooled.)
- To prepare the vanilla bean cream, add the yogurt and the paste from the scraped vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract) to a medium bowl, and gently blend with a spatula. Set aside for a moment while you whip the cream.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk (or using a hand-held mixer and a separate bowl), whip the whipping cream until slightly thickened, add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Combine the yogurt mixture with the sweetened whipped cream by adding the whipped cream into the yogurt base in increments, folding each increment gently in with the spatula to create a light, fluffy cream.
- Cover the vanilla bean cream with plastic wrap and place into the fridge to keep cold until ready to assemble the parfaits.
- To assemble the lemon curd parfaits, add your prepared and chilled lemon curd to a piping bag (or large zip lock bag with the bottom corner cut off), and do the same with your prepared and chilled vanilla bean cream.
- Place four glasses in front of you, and add 2 crushed shortbread cookies to the bottom of each. Then, pipe in a layer of the lemon curd (about 3 tablespoons worth), starting in the center and working towards the sides of the glass. Smooth the curd out gently with a small spoon to bring the curd to the edges.
- Next, pipe in a layer of the vanilla bean cream (about 3-4 tablespoons worth) again starting in the center and working towards the sides of the glass. Smooth the vanilla cream out gently with another small spoon to once again bring the cream to the edges.
- Repeat the layering process one more, filling the glasses about ¾ of the way up, leaving a bit of room at the top of the glass.
- Finish the lemon curd parfaits with a sprinkle of the lemon zest and with a lemon-flavored rolled wafer cookie for garnish. Serve immediately while cold, or place into the fridge to hold cold until ready to serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Lemon Curd Parfait recipe:
- Homemade lemon curd, or good quality store-bought: My recipe for lemon curd is pretty quick and easy and has fantastic flavor from the fresh lemons, but if you prefer to save some time, feel free to use a good quality, tangy, store-bought lemon curd.
- Crushed shortbread cookies, or your favorite cookie: I like the shortbread cookies as they have nice crisp-crunch, and lovely buttery flavor. You can also use vanilla wafer cookies, or another buttery, biscuit type of cookie of your liking.
- Greek yogurt for nice, thick creaminess: Since you want this vanilla bean cream to be nice and thick in consistency, opt for plain Greek yogurt here. When folded together with some whipped cream, the texture is light and fluffy. Traditional yogurt will end up being too thin here.
- Vanilla bean, or pure vanilla extract: If you don't feel like scraping the paste from a vanilla bean pod and adding it to the cream, simply use about 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract instead.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!