This is the American version of a parfait, easily made into a gluten free parfait, with gluten free expert, Carol Fenster‘s wonderful baking tips. This recipe contains a nice thick pudding, made dairy-free, if desired, flavored with both vanilla and almond extracts for additional flavor. To make things even easier, Carol uses Pamela’s chocolate cookies. If she is referring to Pamela’s Simplebites Mini Extreme Chocolate Cookies, they are perfect for this recipe, as well as making a chocolate pie crust, because they are so crunchy. They will withstand the layering of the pudding without becoming soggy. Thank you, Carol, for this awesome recipe! It’s just perfect for this time of year. A little red gets us through the holidays. Enjoy all!
In a medium heavy saucepan, heat the milk over Medium heat to 110°F. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch until well blended. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer on Low speed until thick and lemon-colored. Slowly beat the sugar-cornstarch mixture into the egg yolks on Low speed until very smooth.
Gradually whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan of hot milk until thoroughly blended. Reduce the heat to Medium-Low and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until smooth. Pour into a serving bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap on the top to prevent “skin” from forming. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.
To assemble the parfait, place ¼ cup pudding in each of 4 glass parfait cups or wine glasses. Top each with 3 tablespoons of the cherry pie filling, then another ¼ cup of the pudding. Top each with 5 tablespoons of crushed cookies, then another 3 tablespoons of the cherry pie filling. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve.
Use 4 tablespoons cornstarch if using rice or coconut milk or any low-protein milk substitute.
Carla's Note: Comstock pie fillings are gluten-free. I re-verified this via phone on 12/04/2012. The modified food starch is derived from corn.