Poppy Seed Parfait with Rhubarb and Blackberry Compote

Nutty tasting black poppy seeds add colour and crunch to Silvena Rowe's frozen dessert served with a stylish fruit compote
By Silvena Rowe
Poppy Seed Parfait with Rhubarb and Blackberry Compote
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 40 g poppy seeds
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 280 ml double cream

For the fruit compote

  • 400 g trimmed rhubarb, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 400 g large blackberries

Tips and Suggestions

Buy the largest blackberries you can find for this dish.
It is important that you crush the poppy seeds lightly - all you want to do is release their flavours, not reduce them to powder. They should still be crunchy.


1. Prepare a 400g loaf tin by lining it with cling film and making sure it reaches right into the corners of the tin.

2. Lightly crush the poppy seeds in a pestle and mortar, then place them in a saucepan with the buttermilk. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Strain the mixture, discarding the milk and reserving the poppy seeds.

3. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the caster sugar, vanilla essence, egg yolks and whole egg and use an electric hand whisk to whisk them together briefly just until combined.

4. Place around 5cm of water in the base of a saucepan and bring it to simmering point. Place the bowl containing the egg mixture over the pan of simmering water and keep whisking until mixture is thick and creamy - about 8-10 minutes.

5. Remove the bowl from the pan and keep whisking for 5 more minutes until mixture has cooled and become even thicker.

6. In a large bowl, whip the double cream and fold it gently into the egg mixture. Fold in the poppy seeds. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer overnight.

7. To make the compote, place the rhubarb in a saucepan with 2-3 tbsp water and the icing sugar. Bring to a low boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rhubarb to cool briefly.

8. Transfer the rhubarb to a blender and purée it. Pour the purée into a large bowl, add the blackberries, and mix gently to coat the berries.

9. When ready to serve, remove the cling film from the poppy seed parfait and cut the loaf into generous slices. Top with some of the fruit compote and serve.

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