Posted on January 24 2012

Tartine Baking Project: #35 Roast banana with maple pecans parfait

I had no idea what a parfait was until I read the recipe.  I worked at Frosty Boy, a tiny little ice cream shop where I’m from, and our “parfait” was something like soft serve vanilla ice cream layered with canned blueberries and strawberries.  Very patriotic, yes, but not quite the French parfait.

The word parfait means perfect in French, and it really is.  It’s the most beautiful hybrid of a mousse and ice cream.  There’s a few steps – roasting the pecans, preparing the bananas, then the actual parfait itself – but nothing too chaotic that I would never do this again.  I’m afraid it’s quite the opposite, actually.  Since there was a lot going on at the same time, I didn’t get too many shots of the process.  And, it was a super dark, gray kind of winter day.  You know, that hazy shade of winter Simon and Garfunkel sang about?  Yeah, while it’s conducive to a song, it’s not quite fitting for shooting photos and counting on natural light.  Oh well!

I’ve made these maple glazed pecans already, and with their crunchy sweet shell they’re the perfect (parfait!) edition to this dessert!

I know, this is the most unappetizing picture ever – but I had to share these bananas as they were being sautéed in brown sugar and butter!  I want to do this every day.  But I won’t, because that’s not something I should be eating every day.

This ice water bath sounded disgusting on a dark and rainy January day! 

These wide mouth mason jars made for the most perfect vessel for these treats.  I think parfaits are to be served in tall, skinny glasses, but I don’t have such things.  And, these guys were the perfect serving size and only $3.50 for four of them!  I used a ladle to fill them up, which made things easier.  The recipe approximated 4 – 6 servings for one batch, and I filled up eight of this jars.

A little stint in the freezer, getting acquainted with some frozen flaky tart dough, and a loaf of brioche.

OH MY GOODNESS!  AMAZING!  It was so rich and creamy – with chunks of bananas and bits of crunchy maple pecans suspended throughout the parfait!  We were eating it and I just began spewing all my ideas and plans for future parfaits!  Raspberries!  Strawberries!  Chocolate!  Something in my brain snapped and I’m looking forward to putting anything and everything (and I mean anything and everything) into a parfait.  I want a parfait themed restaurant where every course in in the form of some crazy parfait.  Parfait!  Parfait!  Parfait!

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