This is my riff on a traditional Norwegian parfait called "veiled farmgirls". It's layers of brandy soaked fruit and nuts, sweetened and spiced breadcrumbs, and whipped cream!

I was so happy when my friends at Crate and Barrel asked me to create a holiday brunch menu for them! If you ask me my favorite meal I’ll instantly reply with a rowdy “BRUNCH”! I’m not sure why I’ve always loved it so very much? When I was a boy in Norway brunch wasn’t really a thing. I remember my aunt who lived in Texas for a while in the late 70’s came home to Oslo and told stories about giant brunch buffets! I loved the idea so much that I begged my family to make our holiday breakfast into a brunch that year. We did, and it actually turned out beautifully. It became a family tradition in our house! I was a trendsetter, even back then!

I’m sharing here some of my current favorite brunch dishes over on the Crate and Barrel site. This year's menu is as follows:

  • Appetizer: Caprese Bites
  • Salad: Celery Root Salad with Grapefruit and Mustard Vinaigrette
  • Entree: Croque Madame Casserole
  • Cocktail: Blood Orange Bellini
  • Dessert: Maidens in a Jar

Get my Maidens in a Jar recipe below, and all the rest of the recipes HERE at Crate and Barrel!

Subscribe to Sweet Paul


Serves 4

You will need:

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons brandy

1/3 cup water

8 slices good quality white bread

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

whipped cream

4 Weck Jars

  1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a pan and add 1/3 cup water at first.
  2. Let me mixture simmer for 10 minutes, add more water if it gets to dry.
  3. The consistency should be like a thick jam.
  4. Place the bread on a baking rack and toast them dry at 300F (160C) until they are completely dried, takes about 30 minutes.
  5. Break them up and place in a blender. Whizz until broken up but not pulverized, I like some chunky bits in it.
  6. Melt the butter in a pan and add the bread crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Stir until golden. Cool.
  8. To assemble in Weck jars, start with a layer of the fruit & nut mixture, then cream then breadcrumbs, layer as many times as you want and finish off with a layer of bread crumbs.
  9. Seal the jars and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  10. Serve cold.


Photography by Paul "Sweet Paul" Lowe

Made it? Tell us about it–