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Veiled Maiden (Apple-Cream Parfait)

This dessert is known by several other names, including "Peasant Girls with Veils" and "Veiled Farm Girls," but regardless of what you call it, the combination of vanilla-scented whipped cream, applesauce, cinnamon, toasted nuts and buttery bread crumbs is a winner. Our adaptation of this traditional Norwegian parfait-style dessert uses panko crumbs for a little extra crunch.

Veiled Maiden (Apple-Cream Parfait)

Veiled Maiden (Apple-Cream Parfait)

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups applesauce (see recipe notes)
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the walnuts are very lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the panko crumbs, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and cook, stirring continually, until the mixture is well combined and the crumbs are light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the applesauce and the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Place the whipping cream in a mixing bowl that's been chilled for about 15 minutes in the freezer. Using an electric mixer with chilled beaters, start whipping the cream, gradually increasing the speed to high to avoid any splatters. Continue whipping until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the parfaits:
Get 6 martini glasses or other small dessert dishes that hold approximately 1/2 cup each. Place about 1-1/2 tablespoons of applesauce in the bottom of each. Top with about 2 teaspoons of crumbs, then 2 tablespoons of whipped cream. Add another 2 teaspoons crumbs, top with about 2-1/2 tablespoons of applesauce, a few more crumbs, then about 2 more tablespoons of whipped cream. If you plan to serve immediately, top each dish with the remaining crumbs. If not, omit the top layer of crumbs, wrap them separately and set aside at room temperature. Cover the individual parfaits with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Top them with the remaining crumbs just before serving.

Makes 6 servings (with possible leftovers)

Recipe Notes:
If you want to use homemade applesauce, try our recipe for Fresh Cardamom Spiced Applesauce and omit the extra 1 teaspoon of cinnamon included in this recipe.

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