Summer Meets Fall: Apple-Nectarine Parfaits with Maple Yogurt
Five ingredients. That’s it.
Well, seven if you count lemon juice and a spoonful of sugar, but stop being so pedantic. It’s basically five. It’s like a whole-food dessert, more or less: lightly sweetened apples and nectarines, Greek yogurt with maple syrup mixed in, and some cereal on top.
All right, you’ve got me there: once I said “throw cereal on top of it,” it probably stopped being a whole-food dessert, and that’s kind of a cheat when you’re counting ingredients. But it’s too good to leave out. And it isn’t ice cream or snackycakes, so I mean, as desserts go, this one’s more whole than average. (And as breakfasts go, it’s super delicious and make-ahead-easy and you can totally get away with it.) Even with tasty, tasty cereal on top.
The Kitchen Play recipe I started with called not for cereal but for granola, which is simpler and of course wholer, but I love my Kashi cereal with fruit and yogurt so I couldn’t resist the substitution. In fact, I’d venture that any cereal you like enough to keep on hand is the perfect cereal for this dessert. Even plain granola! I’m sure it’s wonderful with plain granola. I’m just not actually sure because I didn’t actually try it. But I’m sure it’s wonderful.
Fun fact: The recipe I started with, apple parfaits with vanilla yogurt and maple syrup, was sponsored by the U.S. Apple Association. I made a few changes to suit this not-quite-summer, not-quite-fall period we’re having right now in Georgia, but I’m sure the apple people won’t mind. I mean, it still has apples in it, just with some added nectarines. They’re not called the U.S. Apple Supremacy Association.
You see, basically, there are two categories of fruit in season at our little corner grocer’s: stone fruits and a million kinds of apples. It’s an overlap that lasts only a couple of weeks, because soon, it’ll be two million kinds of apples and no stone fruit. It’s a sorry shame that stone fruits can’t stick around just a little longer. Because you know what’s lovely together? Yeah, it’s apples and stone fruit. A little tart, a little sweet, a little awesome. It doesn’t yet feel like it’s time for all those warming fall spices, so replacing them with the unmistakable summer sweetness of nectarines is the best way I know to make a comforting cooked apple dessert taste light and fresh and not quite like an apple pie.
A month from now, I’ll be tossing everything out of the pantry—vegetables, vinegar, sandwich bags—while bemoaning the fact that none of it tastes quite like an apple pie. But for now, in September, while the stone fruits are still out, it’s time for a between-seasons snack.
Apple Nectarine Parfaits with Maple Yogurt
- 5 apples of your choice (I used gala)
- Lemon juice (if using fresh, 1/2 lemon is plenty)
- 2 ripe nectarines
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 12 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- Cereal or granola of your choice
- Prepare the fruit: Peel the apples and chop them into bite-sized cubes. Place them in a medium saucepan and toss with lemon juice as you work to prevent the chopped pieces from browning. Cut the nectarines (no need to peel, unless you have strong feelings about it) into bite-sized cubes as well and add to the apples. Toss fruit with sugar and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Cook the fruit: After macerating for 30 minutes, there should be a small amount of fruit juice collected at the bottom of the pot. Place the fruit on the stove until the juice begins to bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer (stirring regularly) until the fruit is soft but not mushy. Chill in the refrigerator. This fruit will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for several days, which makes for a terrifically easy breakfast.
- Mix the yogurt: Stir together the yogurt and syrup. Taste; if you would like your yogurt sweeter (bearing in mind that you’ll be eating it with sweet fruits and sweet cereal), add more syrup. Ideally, the yogurt should look just slightly warmer in color from plain yogurt, but will still be thick and yogurty.
- Serve: In a parfait glass or ice cream bowl, layer some fruit, then some yogurt, then some fruit, then some yogurt, topping with cereal once you’ve filled the glass. Enjoy!