≡ Menu

Healthier Holiday Dessert: Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait

To wrap up my “healthier holiday” series with ALDI I have a beautiful, festive and lighter dessert to share with you. But first…let’s remember the appetizer and main courses.


For the appetizer we had four bite-sized skewer combinations.


The main course was pork loin stuffed with butternut squash, apples, cranberries and topped with a cider gravy.


And we are wrapping it up with Vanilla Pomegranate Parfaits featuring layers of pomegranate compote with homemade vanilla pudding. I developed this recipe to provide a light, refreshing, holiday-themed way to end a holiday meal featuring the super fruit, pomegranates.


Pomegranates boast the highest antioxidant qualities of any fruit in addition to also having cancer fighting, arthritis reduction and heart boosting benefits.


The edible part of the pomegranate is the seeds, known as the arils. Pomegranates can seem a little intimidating but it’s easy to extract the seeds from the fruit. Simply cut off the crown of the fruit and cut it into sections. Break the seeds free of the white membrane. I did this in a big bowl of water because the seeds sink to the bottom and the membrane floats to the top. I skimmed the off the membranes and then ran the seeds through a strainer to separate them from the water.


The dessert featured layers of homemade pomegranate compote and homemade vanilla pudding. The compote was a mixture of pomegranate seeds, orange zest, orange juice and honey.


Don’t be intimidated by homemade pudding. It’s quick, easy and tastes about 100x better than the store bought stuff.

All of the ingredients for the pomegranate compote and pudding were from ALDI. They carry pomegranates seasonally at a great price. I paid just $0.59 each for my pomegranates. Stock up because I read online that the whole fruit can keep for up to two months in the fridge.


I layered the pomegranate compote and pudding in a martini glass for a festive presentation. One of the things I learned about food styling when I visited ALDI earlier this year was to use cocktail glasses to showcase individual servings. It really makes the dessert feel like something special.

I love this Pomegranate Vanilla Parfait because it tastes amazing, looks beautiful and keeps the dessert course relatively healthy and clean.

Here’s the recipe!

Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait


2 1/2 cups 2 % Friendly Farms Milk
1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar
3 tablespoons Baker’s Corner Cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Salt
1/4 cup Friendly Farms Half-and-Half
2 Goldhen Egg yolks
1 tablespoon Countryside Creamery Butter


Seeds from 2 pomegranates
Zest from 1 orange
Juice from 1 orange
1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey

Place milk and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine half-and-half and egg yolks. Next, stir egg yolk mixture into sugar mixture. Gradually add half of the hot milk to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Then return the hot milk and sugar mixture to pan and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted.

Spoon the pudding into a bowl. It will still be a little runny at this point but will set up in the fridge. Place bowl in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until pudding cools, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, cover the surface of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming and then place in fridge until ready to use for your recipe.


Clean the seeds from the fruit using the method described above. Add remaining ingredient and stir to combine.


In a wine, martini or other clear cocktail glass, spread a spoonful of pomegranate compote in the bottom of the class. Top with a layer of vanilla pudding and finish with another sprinkle of the pomegranate compote. Note: this dessert holds well and can be assembled ahead of time.

Yield: 6 servings

This post is sponsored by ALDI as part of the Healthier Holiday Series. 

Are you making any healthier holiday desserts for the holidays? 

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Kate December 16, 2014, 4:09 pm

    This sounds wonderful!
    For pomegranates, the easiest way I’ve found to get the seeds out is to score around the middle, pull it in half and “stretch” both halves a little. Then hold half in your hand over a bowl with the seed side facing your palm, whack the skin side with a wooden spoon. The seeds seriously all just fall out!
    I saw it first on a youtube video, and it is amazing how effective it is!

  • Callie December 16, 2014, 4:28 pm

    The presentation is beautiful! I haven’t had pudding in ages and this is definitely making me crave it and inspires me to make it from scratch. You created 3 great, original meals…hope to make them soon!

  • Bonnie December 16, 2014, 5:21 pm

    Nice photography! This looks very tasty and definitely worth trying.

  • Claire @ My Life Cravings December 16, 2014, 5:51 pm

    I have to say the only pudding I’ve made from scratch is the avocado-based kind. But that needs to change ASAP. This is so fancy but actually seems pretty easy to do! I love the idea of a layered parfait dessert like this, definitely a healthier dessert and there are so many possibilities! Love it.

  • Haley December 16, 2014, 6:20 pm

    This sounds (and looks) delicious, Jen – look forward to making it over the Christmas Break. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the ‘half and half’ product on the shelves at Australian supermarkets 🙁 but I’ll try to make my own ‘half and half’ and fingers crossed it doesn’t end in a disaster 🙂 Thanks for the cooking inspiration, and Merry Christmas! x

  • Chicago Jogger December 17, 2014, 8:59 am

    This looks delicious! I never would have thought to make a compote from pomegranates 🙂

Leave a Comment