Red, White and Blueberry Parfait for the 4th of July

With a long holiday weekend approaching, you might still have time to make a batch of pocket pies.  But just in case, you still have plenty of time to make this 4th of July summer dessert.

You can prepare the parfait in a flash – spoon it into clear plastic picnic glasses or even champagne glasses, cover it with plastic wrap and that’s it. Store it in the refrigerator on a tray (easier to grab and carry) until it is ready to be served.

It would be a fine finish to a great barbecue.

The Red, White & Blueberry Parfait is a twist on this recipe from Ina Garten called Eton Mess.  I’m sure there is a good story behind that name, but aside from Ina’s propensity to keep the butter makers in business and to use those extra-large eggs, she has some great recipes that are easy to duplicate.

Eton Mess is usually made with berries that have been slightly cooked down and then mixed with fresh fruit.  But in honor of the 4th of July, our Parfait uses three ingredients – no cooking needed.  Simple vanilla meringue cookies, red and blue berries (otherwise known as blueberries and raspberries) and whipped cream.

Start with raspberries and place them in the bottom of the cup.  Add a bit of whipped cream and then some crushed meringues on top of that followed by a touch more whipped cream.  Add  blueberries, and repeat the whole thing until the glass is filled.  You can double up on the berries if you have a tall glass to minimize eating volumes of whipped cream (unless you’re a fan).  But in the end you want a pretty red, white and blue theme to emerge.

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve them.

Really.  It’s that easy,  as Ina would say.  And since it is peak berry season, they should taste fabulous.

You can find meringue cookies (Miss Meringue is the most popular)  in most grocery stores (even Safeway has them).  Some bakeries offer them, too. Vanilla (or any white-ish meringue cookie) is the way to go.  Try to avoid the pink, green and yellow colors – they scare me. And read the ingredients.  Most are GF, but some brands might have something odd in there.

Of course you could make your own – they take little time and taste better than the store stuff.  I like to make them the day before using the Pavlova recipe here.

Spoon or pipe little kisses on the parchment (close together) and bake as directed, but with one slight change.  Leave them in the turned off oven overnight – but leave the oven light on – to dry completely.  Six large egg whites, a pinch of cream of tartar, one cup of sugar and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla, all whipped up, makes about 175 ½ inch cookies. You can cut the Pavlova recipe in half and still have plenty of meringues.

Have a great holiday weekend.  And if you’re reading this after the 4th of July – make this anyway, but don’t feel obligated to use just raspberries and blueberries.  Use any berry (or cherry) that makes you happy.

Red, White & Blueberry Parfait
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
  • one pint each (organic) blueberries and raspberries
  • about 15-20 meringue cookies
  • 1 pint heavy cream, whipped (sugar & vanilla optional)
  1. Place raspberries in the bottom of the glass. Add a spoonful of whipped cream.
  2. Add some crushed meringue cookies and more whipped cream.
  3. Top with blueberries. Finish with whipped cream and a single raspberry.
If you want to skip the dairy, then just use your favorite non-dairy whip in place of the heavy cream. Et Voila! Dairy-free dessert.


  1. Love it! That’s a really impressive and festive dessert for something so simple. And your photo is spectacular!

  2. Wow, I can definitely make this! I can’t wait to impress my family with something truly lovely and delicious.

    P.S. The photos are pure art. LOVE them!


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