A dessert that won’t leave anyone indifferent! With great flavour and texture combinations, this Pecan Praline & Banana Parfait recipe is sure to impress your guests over the festive period! Perfect when you have some ripe bananas to use! Moreover, you can make this up to two weeks in advance, so you have it ready when you are short on time!
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What is Parfait?
Parfait is a cold, creamy dessert that originates in France. Typically made with heavy cream, eggs and some type of fruit, traditional French parfait is served frozen, however, these days the word parfait can refer to chilled desserts, sometimes layered with fruit.
We made a traditional Frozen French Parfait flavoured with banana and pecan praline! It is just like luxurious ice cream!
Why You Will Love This Recipe?
According to Seb, this is the best dessert I made all year. What a compliment! He’d had this for three days in a row and was asking for more.
- Another recipe to use up ripe bananas. I think ripe bananas are too often used for banana bread. As nice as it can be, there are so many other ways to use up bananas.
- This Frozen Parfait has amazing flavours, and a variety of textures and almost feels a bit like ‘fine-dining’.
- This Pecan Praline Parfait uses very simple ingredients and is great for making ahead of time.
- Pecans go so well with bananas.
To make this frozen parfait, you will need small ramekins to set parfait in, as well as a blender/smoothie maker or a food processor to crush your praline. Here’s what I use:
- LOVECASA 12-Piece 3.5″ (9cm) Ceramic Ramekins. I use these for desserts, dips and baked-egg recipes too.
- NutriNinja Blender is great for smoothies but is also powerful enough to crush ice cubes and nuts. We use an older version of this one.
Step 1: Make Pecan Praline
Start by putting caster sugar and 3 tsp of water in a heavy-based pan. Simmer on low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. You shouldn’t stir at this stage, or your sugar will crystalise around the edges of the pan.
When the mixture is completely clear, increase the heat and bubble until your caramel turns a nice medium brown. I always remove it just before it turns the colour that I am looking for. It will continue cooking, be it for a very short period, and it takes seconds for a lovely caramel to go bitter if overcooked. Promptly remove the caramel from the heat and stir in your pecan nuts.
Lightly brush a non-stick baking tray with some odourless oil. Then tip the pecan caramel onto it and spread out into a thin layer. The secret to success in this step is working quickly. Have your greased tray ready before you start. If you linger just for a few seconds, the caramel will harden and be difficult to spread out. Leave the caramel to cool down completely.
When cold, hard and brittle, break up your praline into large chunks. Then tip them into the food processor or blender and pulse a few times to crush them into coarse crumbs. And here you have it – lovely pecan praline!
Step 2: Make Banana Parfait
I like getting all my individual ramekins lined and ready. To make it easier to remove the parfaits from the moulds, I line them with cling film. I then cut circles of baking parchment and line the bottom of each ramekin (see photo below). This ensures that the top of the parfaits have smooth flat surfaces when you remove them from the ramekins and unpeel the parchment.
To make the Banana Parfait, we need ripe bananas. Ripe enough so they are sweet and soft and have black spots all over their skins. But not mushy, bruised or brown inside. Whilst they taste good in the desert, brown bananas will affect the colour of the parfait and may make them look unappetising.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mash the banana. Then mix in a teaspoon of lemon juice and set aside.
In another bowl, whip double cream. In yet another bowl, using an electric whisk, beat the egg whites with a teaspoon of lemon juice to soft peaks. Then start adding sugar, teaspoon by teaspoon, and carry on whisking until you have a stiff and shiny meringue.
Fold the meringue into your whipped cream carefully. Then fold in the mashed banana and almost all of the praline (reserve about 4 teaspoons for decoration). Then spoon your parfait into ramekins, cover and freeze until they’re firm. It takes about 6 hours, in my experience, but I like to leave them overnight to really make sure. It is generally recommended that you don’t keep cream and egg whites in the freezer for longer than 2 weeks.
Can You Eat Raw Egg Whites?
Whilst in this day and age (in the UK), it is considered perfectly safe to eat raw eggs, make sure you use fresh high-quality eggs in this recipe or opt for pasteurised liquid egg whites from a carton.
Step 3: Serving Frozen Banana Parfait
When you’re ready to serve, caramelise bananas. Slice them into thick rounds or on the diagonal and sprinkle with sugar. Then dry fry on medium heat until lovely and brown, but not too mushy.
Take the Parfaits out of the freezer and warm them between your hands. Alternatively, leave them on the counter for 3-5 minutes before attempting to remove them from the ramekins. Run the knife around them if they don’t come out when you pull on the overhanging clingfilm. Finally, peel the parchment off of the top.
Serve with caramelised bananas and a sprinkle of the reserved praline for extra crunch!
Other French Dessert Recipes
- French Fruit Tart (Tarte Aux Fruits)
- French Crème Brûlée With Orange Blossom
- Lavender-Scented French Chocolate Souffle
For other dessert and sweet baking ideas, click here.
Pecan Praline & Banana Parfait
- 4 180ml Ramekins
- Electric Handheld Whisk
- food processor/ blender/ smoothie maker
For Pecan Praline:
- 100 g caster sugar + 3 tsp of water
- 50 g pecan nuts
For Banana Parfait:
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 150 ml double cream
- 1 large egg white
- 50 g caster sugar
- 2 small ripe bananas
Make the Praline:
- Heat caster sugar and 3 tsp of water in a small saucepan on low heat until sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat and cook to a medium brown caramel.
- Promptly remove from the heat and stir in the pecan nuts. Pour the mixture onto a greased non-stick baking tray and spread into a single layer. Work quickly before the caramel has time to harden. Leave to cool completely.
- When pecan caramel is cold and brittle, break it into chunks. Tip them into a food processor or a powerful smoothie maker and pulse a few times to crush the caramel into coarse crumbs.
To Make Banana Parfait:
- Mash a ripe banana and mix in 1 tsp of lemon juice.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk double cream. In yet another bowl, using an electric whisk, beat egg whites to soft peaks, then whisking continuously, one teaspoon at a time, add caster sugar until you arrive at a stiff and shiny meringue.
- Fold the meringue into whipped cream carefully. Then add the mashed banana and most of the praline. Reserve approx. 4 teaspoons of praline for decoration.
- Once combined, spoon the parfait mixture into 4 clingfilm and parchment-lined ramekins (see tips for lining the ramekins in the text above). Cover and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight (store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks).
- When you're ready to serve, cut your bananas in thick slices or in half lengthways. Sprinkle with some sugar and place in a dry frying pan on medium-high heat to caramelise on both sides.
- Take the parfait out of the freezer and warm the ramekins in your hands, or leave to sit at room temperature for 3-5 minutes. Carefully remove from the ramekins by pulling on overhanging clingfilm. Then peel the clingfilm and baking parchment off and serve with caramelised bananas and reserved praline.