Trifle is one of those dessert that I make during the holidays. Actually I would not call this cooking, rather an assembling. This is one of the first thing I learned to make at Home Ed class in school. (I went to an all girls' school, we were supposed to know how to cook and sew back in those days).
I made some modification through the years as I moved around. It looks grand and easily feed a crowd, great for Christmas and New Year Party.
This is one dessert that you do need a nice glass bowl, I have a couple trifle bowls. It is worth making that little investment. In this recipe, you will find that I am using a traditional English custard powder, just to keep to the tradition. I do make trifle dessert through the year, I would make a light custard from scratch in the summer with berries and at times, a Hawaiian inspired version with a coconut milk custard, fresh mango and lilikoi butter.
As with the ingredient amount, it will vary with the size of you bowl that you use. If you don't have a trifle bowl, try a nice glass 3Qt bowl. A tradition trifle is usually 3 layers: cake, fruit and custard, topped with cream. If you have a deep bowl, build a 2nd layer and you will need more cake, split the pears and custard between the layers. You can also make small individual serving, by using 1 thin layer cake, 2 pear halve and top with custard! Happy Holidays!
Classic English Trifle
1/4 of a 11x9" yellow cake or other cake of your choice, you can also use 1/2 package of lady fingers.
1/2 jar seedless raspberry jam
3 cans 15oz pear halves in light syrup, well drained
4-5 table sherry or grape juice (for a non-alcoholic version)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp Bird's custard powder
2 cups 2% milk
1 pt heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confection sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Slice the cake in 1/2"x1.5" slices. the cake slices will depend on the size of your bowl. Line the bottom of the bowl with cake. Spread 3/4 of the jam on the cake. I would deliberately let some jam show on the side of the bowl to add colors.
Drizzle with sherry or grape juice. Let the cake soak in the liquid. Set a side
Layer the pear halves on the cake base. Arranging the pears from the outside in, so that you see the pear layer
In a large bowl, mix custard powder with 3-4 tbsp of cold milk till it form a smooth paste. Side ahead
In a med size saucepan, heat the reminding milk with sugar, till hot.
Add the hot milk and sugar mix to the custard paste, keep stirring to combine.
Return the custard mixture to the pan and cook over low heat till thicken, about 10-15 min. Stir constantly. The custard should coat the back of the spoon
Pour the custard over the pears and cover, you do not want the custard to get too cold, it will form a "skin" on top.