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Lemon Grass Parfait with Pineapple Salsa
By Chef Ming Tsai

Lemon Grass Parfait with Pineapple Salsa


3 cups Heavy Cream
10 stalks Lemon Grass white parts only thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Vanilla Beans (preferably Tahitian)
12 Egg Yolks plus 6 eggs
1 3/4 cups Confectioners' Sugar

Pineapple Salsa

1 Pineapple peeled cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 Organic Oranges juice freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground White Pepper
1 tablespoon Pink Peppercorn
In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine the cream, lemon grass, and vanilla extract. Halve the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the cream. Add the beans and bring just to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced by one-fourth, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool, then refrigerate, covered, for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

Chill a medium bowl. Strain the cream into the bowl, discarding the lemon grass. Beat until stiff peaks form.

In the top of the double boiler over barely simmering water, combine the egg yolks and confectioners' sugar and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture forms a ribbon when whisk is lifted from the pan, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a mixer bowl and beat at high speed until lightened and pale in color, about 10 minutes. Fold in the whipped cream. If using dessert rings, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet that will fit into your freezer. Pour the mixture into the molds and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.

While the parfaits chill, prepare the salsa. Heat a medium non-stick saucepan over high heat. Add the pineapple and sear, stirring, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, add the orange juice and white pepper, and cook until the pineapple is tender-firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Keep warm.

To unmold parfaits, place each on a serving dish, warm the sides of the rings with your hands, and lift off the rings. If using ramekins, dip them in hot water for no more than 5 seconds and invert the parfaits onto plates. Surround with the warm pineapple salsa, garnish with the pink peppercorns, and serve.

Ming's Tip:

Make these in advance-they need to be started at least a day ahead to be well flavored and to freeze.