Parfait & Tart

A festive spread of desserts from Simran Dhanju’s kitchen

 Cranberry Parfait


For Cranberry Sauce:

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • ¾ cup sparkling white grape juice

For Cranberry Curd:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

For Whipped Cream and Garnish:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • ½tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 – 5 almond cookies
  • Vanilla wafers for garnishing


  1. In a saucepan, combine cranberries, grape juice and sugar, bring to boil, lower heat and cook for 8-10 minutes or until all cranberries pop. Leave to cool.
  2. For curd, combine water and cranberries, cook until all cranberries pop and are soft. Sieve them through strainer; cool a little.
  3. Whisk eggs, add sugar, whip until pale in colour, add to cranberries pulp and whisk well. Cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes – until thick. Stir in butter knobs one at a time. Leave to cool.
  4. Whip creams sugar and vanilla with electric whisk until soft peak is formed.
  5. To assemble, in serving glasses spoon cranberry sauce at the bottom, layer whipped cream, curd and crumbled cookies. Top up with whipped cream, a dollop of sauce. Chill and serve with vanilla wafers.


Berry Tart


For the pastry:

  • 1 & 2/3 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup butter cold, diced
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3tbsp cold water

For custard:

  • 3 yolks
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • 2tbsp corn flour
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 2/3 cup double cream
  • 4-5 cups mixed berries
  • 4tbsp any berry jam for glazing
  • 2tbsp water


  1. In a mixing bowl, sieve flour, nutmeg and salt; rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in yolk and sprinkle cold water and blend to make firm dough.
  2. Knead on lightly floured surface for a few seconds, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Now roll the pastry and place it on the 25cm/10inch flan pan, remove excess pastry by running knife on pastry edge.
  4. Prick holes on pastry with fork, line foil on top, cover with baking beans (like kidney beans or chickpeas for weight) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake further 10 minutes. Keep aside to cool.
  5. Mix yolks, sugar, corn flour, plain flour, and vanilla. Make custard by pouring boiling milk gradually on the egg mixture and whisking all the time. Now cook the mixture on a low flame stirring constantly until thickens. Pour in clean bowl, cover with cling film and let it cool.
  6. Whip cream until thick, fold in the custard. Pour custard in pastry case, level it with spoon, and arrange mixed berries on top. Gently heat jam and water; cool and drizzle on top.



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