If you're watching calories this dessert is a lovely way to end a meal. It's easy to do and can make an ordinary meal special. It has five ingredients and requires no special equipment to prepare. While it must be chilled for 2 hours before serving, it can be assembled in less than 30 minutes. What's the trick? It is difficult to find fromage frais in most supermarkets. If you live in a large metropolitan area, it can be purchased from a cheese store, but the rest of us will have to scramble to find adequate substitutes. The best would be quark or Greek yogurt. The easiest would be a reduced fat cream cheese that's thinned with a little milk. You can also make your own cheese if you feel inspired. I use a minimal amount of sugar in this recipe, so be sure to taste for sweetness as you go along. Frozen berries are fine but make sure they are thawed before you add them to the cheese mixture. A last reminder - the egg whites in this recipe are not cooked, so be sure to use pasteurized eggs or reconstituted powdered egg whites to avoid any chance of salmonella.
Raspberry Yogurt Parfait
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 (8-oz.) cup low-fat vanilla yogurt - room temperature
12-oz. fromage frais, quark or Greek yogurt - room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (optional)
4 large pasteurized egg whites or an equivalent amount of reconstituted powdered egg whites
6-oz. fresh raspberries, mashed or an equivalent amount of frozen, thawed berries
Optional garnish: berries and mint leaves
1) Place 1/4 cup water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let sit until gelatin softens. Add water to a small skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Place bowl containing gelatin in pan and stir until gelatin dissolves. Remove from pan and cool slightly.
2) Combine yogurt, fromage frais and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix well. Add yogurt and stir with a spoon until combined.
3) Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into yogurt mixture until just combined.
4) Transfer half the mixture to another large bowl. Fold in mashed berries.
5) Spoon a portion of raspberry mixture into four (8-oz.) dessert glasses. Top each with a portion of the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Garnish with raspberries and mint if desired. Yield: 4 servings.