Winter Breakfast Parfait
Dried fruit poached with orange zest, cardamom, and honey is wonderfully aromatic—and creates a subtle, deeply spiced syrup that plays perfectly off the tart, creamy cheese. Use any combination of fruit you like, or even a single type. To make it a little more elegant, toast blanched almonds; or you can make it more casual and substitute granola. Just choose a simple granola—one without any dried fruit.
Combine the dried fruit, honey, and cardamom in a medium saucepan. Zest the orange in several wide strips and add the zest to the pan. Juice the orange, then add water to make 3 cups of liquid; add to the pan. Heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the fruit is soft, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fruit to a bowl, leaving behind the orange zest and cardamom pods.
Increase the heat to a low boil and reduce the liquid until it is slightly syrupy and measures about 2⁄3 cup. Drain any liquid the fruit has released into the saucepan. Pour the reduced liquid through a strainer into the fruit and mix thoroughly (remove any cardamom pods that might have escaped the first time).
For each serving, use a pretty glass or small glass bowl and layer 2 to 3 tablespoons cheese, 2 tablespoons cooked fruit, then a scattering of almonds; repeat cheese, fruit, and almond layers. Don’t worry about making the layers perfectly even; it’s more appealing with rough edges. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of fruit syrup over the top and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The fruit can be poached several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Written by Michalene Busico
Photography by Matt Armendariz