Fruit and Pastry Cream Trifle

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Two 6-ounce packages ladyfingers

Pastry Cream, recipe follows

One 8-ounce jar fruit jam (strawberry or apricot)

6 cups fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries or sliced bananas)

3 cups whipped cream 

Pastry Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup sugar 

1 vanilla bean, scraped 

4 eggs

1/3 cup cornstarch 

1/2 cup milk 

Directions

  1. Arrange a layer of ladyfingers in a trifle dish or large bowl, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fit the sides. Cover with 1/2 to 1 inch of Pastry Cream, followed by a quarter each of the jam, fruit and whipped cream. Repeat the layering 3 more times or until you have used up all of the ingredients. Serve with a spoon to make sure everyone gets all of the layers. Enjoy!

Pastry Cream:

  1. Put the heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the vanilla bean seeds and pod in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over low heat. While the cream is coming to a boil, combine the eggs and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in one bowl and the cornstarch and milk a second bowl. Beat both with a whisk to a homogeneous mixture -- no big lumps of egg white! When the cream comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and discard the vanilla pod. Whisk half of the cream into the egg-sugar mixture and then IMMEDIATELY whisk it back into the pan with the hot cream. (This is called tempering and will allow you to combine boiling cream and eggs without making scrambled eggs.)
  2. Return the pan to a medium heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch-milk mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. (It is necessary to bring this mixture to a boil to cook the starch; otherwise the pastry cream will feel starchy and gritty.) Cook until thickened to the consistency of vanilla pudding (YUM!). Transfer to a bowl and chill; this can be done really quickly over an ice bath.