Nana Lentini’s Parfait

by Hank Donat on 02/13/2019

Preparing delicious treats the Gay Housewife® way doesn’t have to involve complicated recipes, rare ingredients, or even a pretentious presentation. A family favorite for generations of Americans, the box gelatin dessert with pineapple and whipped topping has been in high demand at our house – especially around the holidays – ever since my Nana Lentini dubbed it “The Dessert” in the 1970s.

Nana Lentini, stern and exacting, hacked the standard gelatin parfait dessert at a time when hacking was still known as “doctoring it up.”

Here’s how she did it:

Firstly, you have to use the white casserole dish with the blue cornflower motif.

Start with a 20-oz. can of crushed pineapple in juice. Strain the juice from the pineapple and set aside.

Prepare a 6-oz. package of raspberry gelatin as per the the box, using the portion of pineapple juice as part of the cold water in the instructions.

Place most but not all (about 2/3) of the pineapple in the liquid gelatin and allow it to set for three hours. (Discard or save the remaining pineapple for use in a salad.)

Cut the gelatin in a 1-inch cross-hatch pattern to facilitate blending in the creamy topping. Add one 8-oz. container of whipped topping and 1/3 of another 8-oz. container. Blend thoroughly.

Chill an additional hour to 90 minutes. Serves 2-8.

Some call it “The Dessert” while others call it “glop.” Either way, Nana Lentini’s Parfait is sure to please.

(Here’s a picture of a Pavlova, just in case you were holding out for something fancier.)

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