These individual strawberry shortcake parfaits are topped with lemon curd and vanilla mascarpone and packed into mini mason jars, making them the perfect dessert for a summer picnic!
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So, who doesn’t love dessert?? Lemon is one of my favorite flavors for dessert, right behind chocolate! And individual desserts are always high on my list of great ideas for parties and picnics so I decided to add a bit of a twist to a traditional strawberry shortcake by adding lemon curd and some vanilla mascarpone and then packing it into little mason jars. FUN!!
I made them in a jar because they are easy to transport – think summer picnics and backyard parties. Not to mention they look really cute when packed in these lovely little mason jars!!
Tips for Making Strawberry Shortcake Parfaits
This recipe does have a few steps, however, if you prep, while the shortcakes are cooking you, should be ready to serve in a little less than an hour from start to finish. That said, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind when you are prepping the recipe:
- Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them – you’ll need 2-3 lemons total – it’s really tough to zest lemons after they have been juiced!
- Leave enough time for the lemon curd to fully cool. I usually make this either early in the day or the day before just to be sure I’m not waiting for it to cool down right before I’m ready to assemble the parfaits.
Other Uses for Lemon Curd
If you read my blog regularly you’ll notice that sometimes I make more of a specific recipe component than you’ll need for a particular dish. That’s what I’ve done with the lemon curd in this recipe. Usually, I do this because that part of the recipe requires an ingredient that is difficult to divide, like an egg. Whatever is “extra” is always something that can be used for other purposes and gives you a good reason to explore new combinations. The leftover lemon curd would be lovely on these Cranberry Orange Scones or maybe drizzled on some sliced strawberries for an afternoon snack!
These make-ahead mini mason jar desserts are perfect for summer picnics or any time when a packable transportable dessert is needed! They are also a great idea if you want to have something unique on hand for dessert during the week.
things you may want for this recipe
Small mason jars – These mini mason jars are the perfect size for individual desserts and are also great for storing and transporting salad dressing and other sauces.
Bob’s Redmill Flours – Bob’s Redmill makes a great selection of flours that are appropriate for all types of baking needs. The basics like all-purpose flour are likely available in your local grocery store or you can order online if you can’t find them in your local store.Print
These individual strawberry shortcakes are topped with lemon curd and vanilla mascarpone, making them the perfect dessert for a summer picnic!
For the shortcake:
- ¼ cup cake flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon demerara or raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup half and half
For the lemon curd:
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 4 tablespoons butter
For the vanilla mascarpone:
- ½ cup mascarpone
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon Demerara or raw sugar
For the shortcake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place flours, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times until combined.
- Add butter and pulse until fully incorporated. A coarse mixture will form. With the motor running add the half and half and continue blending until a soft ball forms.
- Drop the dough in two equal parts on the baking sheet; flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool.
For the lemon curd:
- While the shortcakes are cooking, combine the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix together until fully incorporated.
- Add the sugar mixture, lemon juice, eggs and salt to a small saucepan and whisk together. Place saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter and whisk constantly until thickened; about 5-6 minutes.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Strain the lemon curd using the back of a large spoon to push the lemon curd through the strainer. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to cool and set.
For the mascarpone:
- Mix the mascarpone, vanilla and honey in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Mix the lemon zest and raw sugar together. Set aside.
- Break the shortcakes into pieces and divide evenly between four small mason jars.
- Add a layer of sliced strawberries. Add approximately 2 tbsp of lemon curd to each jar, followed by approximately 2 tbsp of the mascarpone mixture.
- Sprinkle with a bit of the lemon sugar mixture and top with additional strawberries. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you refrigerate before serving the shortcakes may get a bit soggy however they will taste just fine!
Keywords: summer dessert, mason jar dessert, individual strawberry shortcake
Updated. Originally published in August 2015.