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Winter Breakfast Parfait

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.
Servings 4


  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit a mix of apricots, plums, cherries, etc., about 6½ ounces
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 6 cardamom pods cracked
  • 1 orange
  • cups fromage blanc quark, or farmer’s cheese
  • ¼ cup almonds toasted and chopped


  • 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.


The fruit can be poached several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

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Michalene Busico

Michalene Busico is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine, travel, and design. She writes for House Beautiful, Bon Appetit, and Culture magazines. She served as Food Editor at both the Los Angeles Times (2002-2008) and the New York Times (1998-2002), two of the most influential news organizations in the country.