"I ain't never met someone who didn't like parfait. You never hear someone say, 'Hey, you want some parfait?' 'Hell no, I don't want no parfait!'"
-- Donkey, 'Shrek'

Parfait is a small, chilled, cream-based dish.

The name is derived from the French parfait meaning, literally, something perfect. The dish itself is French and only arrived in England at the turn of the 20th Century.

A standard parfait is made with a base of cream and eggs, which is whipped into a light custard and then chilled until it is solid. There are many kinds of parfait built on this simple base. In the United States, parfait usually refers to a sweet dessert with ingredients such as fruit and biscuits. Israeli chef Tsachi Buchester specialises in a halvah parfait, and Gooseberry and Elderflower Parfait is a delicious and unusual variation. Savory parfaits, such as Duck Liver Parfait, are often seen in Europe.

Unlike its cream-based dessert counterparts (ice cream and mousse), a parfait is not stirred while it is chilled. The creamy custard in a parfait is usually whipped; stirring it during the freezing process would cause the air bubbles to collapse and ice crystals to form.

A parfait is usually associated with layers. Usually, a parfait is served in a tall, ornate glass designed to display the alternating layers of custard, fruit and biscuits. In certain culinary circles, any layered dessert is referred to as a parfait, and the creamy custard may be replaced with ice cream. Parfait may also be served in a ramekin.

Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith, Emeril Lagasse and the many Iron Chefs all have recipies for parfaits. Below is Ian Parmenter's recipie for Prune and Armagnac Parfait. The prunes may be substituted with the fruit of your choice - strawberries and peaches work very well. The Armagnac may be replaced with Cognac or rum.

Ian Parmenter's Prune and Armagnac Parfait
6 egg yolks
140g caster sugar
450mL thick cream (double cream, for preference, or any kind of thickened cream)
5 tbsp Armagnac
20cm sponge cake, sliced horizontally into two thin layers

450g of the pitted prunes
125g caster sugar
100mL of Armagnac

To make the conserve: Combine the prunes and the 125g caster sugar with 250mL cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer gently until mixture is of a jam-like consistency.
Cook until just warm, then stir in Armagnac. Set aside. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk. Reserve.

In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the 140g caster sugar with 140mL water and cook until mixture reaches the soft ball stage (112ºC on a sweet thermometer). Starting with tiny drips, whisk the sugar syrup into the egg yolks. When completely combined, set aside to cool.

Whisk the cream and as it starts to thicken, whisk in Armagnac. Continue whisking until soft peaks form.

When the egg and sugar mixture is cold, fold into the cream mixture and beat until soft peaks form.

To serve:
Either place a thin layer of sponge cake in the bottom of a ramekin. Spread the conserve over the sponge, then top with the cream mixture and freeze overnight;

Or fill a parfait glass with alternating layers of sponge cake, cream mixture and conserve.

Parfait is a Magic: the Gathering deck created by Raphaël Caron (also known as K-Run), a French-Canadian. The deck was originally named "Parfait" because the word means "perfect" in French. Spinoffs have played off the dessert meaning of the word, and decks like "Cherry Parfait" and "Lingonberry Parfait" take advantage of this to point out their color variations. It focuses on removing threats as they are played, while building a fortress to protect yourself. This deck usually wins with the opponent conceding after the lock is in place, rather than wait to run out of cards or be killed by Pegasus tokens generated by the Sacred Mesa. Considered by many to be one of the most annoying decks in Type I today, bringing this deck to a tournament is a sure way to annoy the field.

Here's an example decklist, played by the deck's creator in the Carta Magica Type I event on February 2, 2003.

// Land

    1 Strip Mine
    3 Wasteland
    1 Mountain
    12 Plains
    1 Library of Alexandria

// Artifacts

    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Diamond
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Sol Ring
    2 Claws of Gix
    1 Ivory Tower
    3 Scroll Rack

// Instants

    4 Argivian Find
    3 Orim's Chant
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Enlightened Tutor

// Sorceries

    1 Replenish
    2 Wrath of God
    1 Balance

// Enchantments

    2 Sacred Mesa
    1 Blood Moon
    1 Seal of Cleansing
    2 Aura of Silence
    2 Humility
    2 Story Circle
    4 Land Tax

// Sideboard

SB: 1 Replenish
SB: 1 Phyrexian Processor
SB: 1 Jester's Cap
SB: 1 Moat
SB: 1 Cleansing Meditation
SB: 2 Pariah
SB: 1 Ivory Tower
SB: 1 Orim's Chant
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 2 Aura of Silence
SB: 1 Grindstone
SB: 1 Karmic Justice

Land Tax/Scroll Rack: Used to "draw" 3 extra cards per Land Tax, per turn. A Zuran Orb makes sure that you always have fewer lands than your opponent.
This deck can conceivably maintain a lock forever, by using Scroll Rack to put more cards on top of the library than are in your hand.
This decktype often runs Soldevi Digger for recursion purposes, allowing important cards to be added back to the library while unneeded ones sit in the graveyard, although Raphaël himself has removed the card, since the long game is no longer much of an issue in a tournament environment where matches are limited to 50 minutes.

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