Apple Pie Breakfast Parfait {and thoughts on embracing photo gaffes}

These grainy pictures were actually taken during not the first, but the second photo shoot for this parfait.

The first time I made the parfait, I layered the still-warm cooked apples with the cold yogurt, which resulted in the glass fogging up – clearly (pun not intended) not the best conditions for food photography.

The very next morning, I set out to make the parfait once again – this time chilling the cooked apples in the fridge until cool. I thought I was all set to proceed, but once I starting taking the photographs, I realized that the overcast 7:30 a.m. sky was keeping any decent morning sunlight from entering into our apartment.

The point of all this rambling? Only to explain the grainy quality of the photos.

Now, I know I’m no food photographer… but my skills have definitely improved over the years, and when photos don’t come out as I’d hoped, it’s rather disappointing.

I seriously considered scrapping this set of photographs as well, but then a funny thing happened.

The more I looked at the photos, the more I liked them!

I am typically a chipper early rise, but every now and then there’s the occasional morning when my head is a little foggy and I make my daily cup of decaf coffee (maybe I should make it caffeinated on those days?) while blearily rubbing my eyes.

Although certainly not your typical crisp & bright pictures, I think these photographs capture those kind of early morning hours in a rather lovely way: muted, soft, and slightly out-of-focus.

So, despite breaking the photography rule of shooting in low light without a suitably open aperture, I’ve grown rather fond of these pics.

Grainy photos aside, this parfait is actually quite beautiful… I just love layered dishes in a pretty glass!

The layers include: an apple pie-spiced yogurt and applesauce mixture, caramelized apples in a luscious cider sauce, and crisp granola.

This parfait truly does taste like apple pie filling layered with yogurt and granola – for breakfast.

Although I already miss my daily dose of fresh organic cherries and other summer fruits, I’m ready to embrace apple season with open arms… literally. I start looking forward to apple picking as soon as the air becomes cool and crisp. There are a number of orchards in Massachusetts, and as long as the one we choose offers apple cider doughnuts, I will be a happy camper ;).

Apple Pie Breakfast Parfait

Printer-Friendly Recipe

yield: 1 serving


  • 1 medium apple, preferably organic
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice, divided (alternately, you can use 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp each of ground nutmeg and cloves)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup granola of your choice, I suggest my Apple Cinnamon Granola


  1. Core the apple and chop into 1/2-inch pieces (you may also peel the apple, if you so choose).
  2. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the apple chunks and brown sugar, and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle apple chunks with 1/2 tsp apple pie spice; stir. Pour in apple cider, reduce heat to low, and simmer until apples are soft and cider has reduced, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove apples from heat and let cool.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, applesauce, and remaining 1/2 tsp apple pie spice.
  5. Set out a glass. Spoon in a bit of the yogurt-applesauce mixture into the glass, followed by some of the granola and a few spoonfuls of the apples. Repeat layers until the glass is full.

Nutritional Information WITHOUT granola (granola nutritional stats vary widely):

278.7 calories, 7.9 grams fat, 4.9 grams saturated fat, 4.5 grams fiber, 35.2 grams sugar, 7.9 grams protein

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