By Ann M. Evans, author of “The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook, Revised Edition.” In 2019, she will be at the Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 markets, where she will sign copies.
In English cuisine, a trifle is a layered dessert made with fruit, custard and whipped cream. It is a tradition in our family when we do an old-fashioned English Christmas dinner. The trifle may be assembled in a glass or ceramic bowl, or in individual glasses, but for the holidays, it’s especially celebratory in a footed trifle dish. Selecting a jam from the Davis Farmers Market, and using market eggs, berries and almonds, turns this dish into a delightful Davis Farmers Market dessert. Annie Main of Good Humus, and Diane Madison of Yolo Press and Yolo Bulb make some of my favorite jams at the market, but there are many. Although I often make my own pound cake, when I’m too busy, I purchase a pre-made one.
Old-Fashioned English Trifle
1 pound cake (12 to 14 ounces)
I pint fruit jam such as raspberry, blackberry or apricot
½ cup medium dry sherry
¼ cup brandy
5 egg yolk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pint berries (fresh or thawed raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries)
2 peaches, sliced (fresh, preserved from summer or canned)
1½ cups heavy cream, for whipping
Almonds, slivered or chopped, toasted, for garnish
Putting it together: Cut pound cake into 1-inch slices. Coat each slice with jam and line bottom of trifle dish with slices. Cut remaining slices into 1-inch cubes and place one layer on top of the first layer. Pour sherry and brandy over. Cover with cloth, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, use a wire whisk to mix egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly until custard is thickened and coats a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat. Add vanilla and stir. Blend well and let cool.
Arrange berries and peach slices on cake. Pour cooled custard on top.
Whip cream until thick and firm, about 5 minutes. Spread whipped cream on top of custard. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.