September 26, 2013 at 1:00 am

This pretty parfait uses plums for breakfast

To keep the granola crunchy on Plum Parfaits, assemble them just before serving. (Susie Cushner / / Chronicle Books)

What could be better than a healthy, colorful breakfast that takes just minutes to throw together? In her book “Sunday Brunch” (Chronicle Books, $20), Betty Rosbottom gives the reader plenty of creative ideas to put together a leisurely Sunday repast. The usual suspects are included, such as eggs, quick breads, stratas, pancakes, waffles, hash and beverages.

There are some nice surprises, as well. Parfaits are showing up on menus everywhere, but this plum parfait that layers cooked plums, granola and yogurt is a cut above the coffee shop renditions. Clear wine or parfait glasses show off the vibrant purple and creamy white colors, as well as the smooth and crunchy textures.

The author recommends Greek yogurt, which has become widely available in the United States in recent years because it is much thicker, creamier and richer than American yogurt. Its consistency is just right for these colorful parfaits. Nonfat and reduced or whole-fat varieties of Greek yogurt work in this recipe. Use a good quality purchased granola, preferably one without dried fruits. Maple-flavored ones taste particularly good with the plums and yogurt.

Remember to leave enough time for the plums to cool off before assembling. The parfaits may be prepared and refrigerated up to 1 hour in advance. However, if you like your granola crunchy, you should assemble them right before serving. If you are having a big group, you can set out the ingredients on a table and have your guests assemble their own parfaits.

Plum Parfaits with Yogurt and Granola

2 pounds medium-ripe dark red or purple plums, rinsed and dried
13 cup, plus 1 ½ tablespoons, and more if needed
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup granola

Halve the plums lengthwise and pit. Slice each half, lengthwise, into quarters. Then cut the quarters in half crosswise, if desired.

Place a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat until the bottom of the pan is hot. Add the plums and sprinkle with the cup sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves and becomes syrupy and the plums are tender when pierced with a knife, about 6 minutes for medium-ripe plums. (If plums are riper, the cooking time will only be about 3 minutes.) Watch carefully so that the fruit does not overcook and become mushy. Remove from the heat and cool the plums to room temperature. If needed, season with more sugar. (The plums can be prepared 1 day ahead; cook, cover and refrigerate.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar and vanilla.

Spoon about ¼ cup of the plum mixture, including the juices, into each of six medium wine or parfait glasses and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sweetened yogurt. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granola. Repeat this layering one more time in each glass. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 238 calories; 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 11 percent calories from fat); 45 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 68 mg sodium; 10 g protein; 3 g fiber.

Diane Rossen Worthington is the author of 18 cookbooks and a James Beard award-winning radio show host. Contact her at seriouslysimple.com.