Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand

English Trifle

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  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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6 cups pound cake scraps and crumbs

1 cup simple syrup (2 parts water, 1 part sugar brought to a boil and allowed to cool to room temperature)

1/4 cup sherry or orange flavored liqueur

Vanilla Pastry Cream, recipe follows

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream, recipe follows

1/2 cup nuts ground with 1/2 cup sugar

2 pints strawberries, cut up tossed with 1/4 of cup sugar

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

2 cups whole, 2%, or 1% fat milk

1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise

6 egg yolks

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream:

2 cups chilled heavy cream

2 tablespoons light brown sugar


  1. In a large bowl toss together the cake scraps, simple syrup, and liquor to moisten the cake.
  2. In a trifle bowl or individual glass stemware, layer the ingredients in the following order: cake, Vanilla Pastry Cream, Brown Sugar Whipped Cream, nuts and strawberries, repeating until the container is full, ending with whipped cream as the top layer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. (Can be made a day in advance up to this point and is actually better if allowed to sit over night.) Decorate with more fruit and finely chopped nuts, or rosettes of whipped cream and strawberries.

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  1. Bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture. Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least two hours. (The pastry cream can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.)

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream:

  1. Whip the cream and brown sugar until stiff.
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