Cherry–vanilla parfait with rosewater syrup

Cherry–vanilla parfait with rosewater syrup

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

A lovely dinner party dessert to make at the start of summer when cherries are in season. Parfaits are good ices to make for those who don’t have an ice-cream machine, as they don’t require churning. You will need a 30 cm x 9 cm terrine mould, loaf tin or plastic container, lined with plastic wrap, for the parfait.

Cherry purée


Quantity Ingredient
250g cherries
75g caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced


Quantity Ingredient
10 eggs
200g caster sugar
200ml water
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
600ml cream, whipped to soft peaks


Quantity Ingredient
100g caster sugar
100ml water
1 lemon, zested
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 tablespoons rosewater
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
100g pitted and halved cherries
100g unsalted pistachio kernels, roughly chopped


  1. To make the cherry purée, combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring gently from time to time to ensure that the sugar dissolves completely. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and purée in a blender, then strain through a sieve to remove the skins. Allow to cool completely. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the purée for the syrup.
  2. To make the parfait, whisk the eggs in an electric mixer until they are light and fluffy. Bring the sugar, water and vanilla bean to the boil in a saucepan. Carefully remove the vanilla bean and then pour the boiling syrup onto the eggs, whisking slowly as you go. Continue whisking until cool, then fold in the cream. Pour the custard into the terrine mould, swirl the cherry purée through and freeze.
  3. To make the syrup, put all the ingredients and the reserved tablespoon of cherry purée into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use. Remove the lemon zest and cinnamon stick just before serving.
  4. To serve, turn the parfait out of the mould and slice into eight thick tiles. Drizzle with the syrup and sprinkle with a few cherry halves and pistachios.
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