In this luscious parfait dessert, green and orange fruits are layered with a white cream and crumbled meringue mixture, creating a lovely Irish flag in a glass.
This is one of my favorite easy-peasy, yet very impressive desserts. The key to heavenly success is the center layer of crumbled meringues or mini pavlovas, combined with whipped cream.
Have you ever heard of Eton Mess? That’s a meringue and cream mixture usually combined with strawberries or raspberries.
To create an Irish flag effect in a dessert, I thought why not layer fruit with a meringue and cream mess.
Any how lucky are we that the Irish flag is comprised of three stripes in green, white and orange. It makes food improvisation so much easier when the colors are easily found in fruits and vegetables.
I used green grapes and diced mango in the parfait pictured above, but for my recipe I went with kiwis and mandarin oranges.
Another dessert I often decorate in Irish flag colors is my Irish fruit flan. However, this recipe is far less complicated.
And so today I present to you my Irish flag dessert, a perfect sweet ending for any occasion, especially an Irish celebration.
Ingredients For Irish Flag Parfait:
Crumbled meringues or mini pavlovas, whipped cream, together with orange and green fruits are all you need for this Irish styled dessert.
For my parfaits I used kiwis and mandarin oranges, but I included grapes and mango as a potential fruit color combination in the ingredient photo below.
Here’s a quick list of ingredients. You’ll find quantities in the printable recipe below, where you can switch between US and metric measurements.
- ripe kiwis
- can of whole mandarin orange segments
- meringue nests or mini pavolovas
- heavy whipping cream
- confectioner’s sugar (optional for sweetening the whipped cream)
- caster sugar (optional for sweetening the kiwis if tart)
Directions For Parfait Preparation:
The good news is …. these parfaits are a no-cook dessert.
You don’t even need to dirty a saucepan to create these Irish flag masterpieces. Here’s what to do …
First I prepare the kiwis.
Peel the outer skin, and slice off the top and bottom ends. Discard these since one end can be very tough.
Next slice the kiwi into about 8 slices, and quarter each slice, to create small bite-size pieces.
Taste test a kiwi piece. Sometimes kiwis are delightfully sweet and sometimes you hit a tart bunch. If you think your kiwis are a little bitter, place the diced fruit pieces in a bowl and sprinkle them with 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar. Mix the sugar and fruit together completely.
Next drain the can of mandarin oranges.
You can buy canned mandarin oranges that are preserved in juice or in syrup. The fruit juice oranges tend to be a little more bitter than those in syrup, so if you like extra sweet desserts, use the mandarin oranges in a light syrup.
Crumble the mini-pavlovas or meringue nests into small pieces. You can see the crumble size I used in the picture above.
You can make your own mini-pavlovas if you wish, or to make this dessert extra easy I just purchased a packet of meringue nests.
These are readily available in Irish supermarkets, but in American grocery stores you will probably find small vanilla meringue cookies much easier. Use three small meringues instead of each meringue nest (10 to 12 meringue cookies should work nicely).
Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Mix the crumbled meringues and whipped cream together.
I don’t add extra confectioner’s sugar when whipping the cream. I find the crumbled meringues sweeten the cream just fine for my palate, but I know I like less sweet desserts than most Americans.
Feel free to add one or two tablespoons of sugar when whipping the cream for an extra sweet creamy parfait layer.
Now comes assembly time.
You need four parfait or wine glasses to best show off the stripes of these Irish flags.
Start with a layer of diced kiwis or green fruit. If you are using glasses that are very fluted towards the bottom, bring the kiwi a little higher than one third way up the glass, to ensure the green layer is on full display.
Next add the white meringue mess stripe. Use a teaspoon to carefully add this layer, spreading it delicately to avoid sploshing the cream on the sides of the glass.
Finally top the cream layer off with mandarin oranges to complete your Irish flag.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a grape and mango combo on the left, together with a kiwi and mandarin orange combo on the right.
I like the deep orange of the mandarin oranges, but diced peaches, or apricots would work well too.
You could top your parfaits with a swirl of cream and a green cherry if you like, but I decided to stick with the three color stripes of the Irish flag.
And here are the three stooges all lined up. They look like three Irish soldiers – we Irish come in all shapes and sizes.
I used different glass types and shapes to demonstrate multiple serving possibilities.
Remember the ingredient quantities I used are only recommendations. The exact amounts required are totally dependent upon the size of the glasses you use. Not every wine or parfait glass is created equal.
Believe it or not, the Irish coffee glass in the middle of the photo above, used the least amount of ingredients. Rather than getting fatter around the middle it got thinner, so serving size was much smaller.
And if you end up with extra creamy meringue mess, simply mix some fruit through it and serve it directly in a bowl.
Why not have a little treat after all that work! Well, there wasn’t much work involved at all, but enjoy your fruity meringue mess anyway.
This simple dessert is a make-ahead-of-time dream, since the parfaits can be assembled a few hours before a party and kept in the refrigerator covered with some plastic wrap.
I wouldn’t make them a day in advance, since the top orange layer could start to sink down through the cream layer, and the cream will seep down around the kiwis over time.
And so there you have it! An Irish flag in a glass.
I hope you like this whimsical Irish dessert as much as I do.
Let’s face it! We make plenty of red, white and blue desserts to represent the American flag on the 4th of July, so why not try an Irish flag sweet treat this St. Patrick’s Day.
Here’s the printable recipe for those in.
Irish Flag Fruit And Cream Parfait
- 4 kiwis ripe
- 15 ounces mandarin oranges in light syrup one large can drained
- 12 meringue cookies
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar optional for sweetening the whipped cream
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar optional to sweeten the kiwis if tart
- Peel and dice the kiwi fruit. If the kiwis are tart mix with 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to sweeten.
- Drain the can of mandarin oranges and discard the liquid.
- Crumble the meringue nests into small pieces. Whip the cream and confectioner's sugar if used. Mix the meringue pieces and whipped cream together.
- Fill a parfait or wine glass one third full with kiwi pieces. Add a layer of creamy meringue mess, then top with a layer of mandarin oranges. Repeat three times.
- Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Happy dessert making to all.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
Here are some more recipes and ramblings about Ireland which you might enjoy…