Saturday, April 3, 2010

Just a trifle...delicious!'s the day before Easter, but I made easter dinner today.  Long story made short - logistically, it worked out better for all involved.

As I was making the menu, I was looking for a light dessert - People always tend to stuff their faces around the holidays, and I was making Ham, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, rolls.  A light dessert was definitely in order.  One from Tyler Florence caught my eye - it was for a Lemon Curd Berry Trifle.  There was only a few problems:  1) I don't have a trifle bowl, nor do I plan on buying one in the near future.  2) I was never much of a "Trifle" aficianado.  I liked the idea of lemons and berries though I didn't like the idea of making lemon curd from scratch, because I find it to be a royal PIA.  Perhaps it's because I really prefer cooking over baking, I dunno...but how to shortcut this so that it's still good, and fits in with my cooking philosophy of fresh?  Before you start saying ewwww curd??!!...sounds disgusting! it's not.  It's actually a type of custard made with eggs, sugar, and lemons, cooked...and it's very sweet, and very lemony.  The thing is, you can buy some very good lemon curd at your local supermarket in the jam/jelly aisle. *edited - could pick some homemade stuff up at Breezy Willow Farm -yum!*  Beats standing over a hot stove beating eggs yolks, sugar, and lemon into oblivion. (sorry Tyler).  HAH.  There was still the problem of the trifle bowl, and my distaste for trifle. 

My experiences with trifles in the past have usually been some sort of cake soaked/sprinkled with booze, layered with vanilla pudding (yuk - I reeeeaallly don't like vanilla pudding.  at all.  bleah) and some sort of canned pie filling, usually cherry or something along those lines.  Even the ones made with chocolate I still was not crazy about - they were, as Randy Jackson says on "American Idol"  "Just a'ight dawg".   But again, lemon and berries intrigued me, AND that the filling was mousse, not pudding, AND the booze sprinkling was optional.  And the booze sprinkled was Limoncello, and I love Limoncello in my cosmos.  In fact, I make my cosmos with vodka, Limoncello, and cranberry juice with a splash of OJ.  It's my own concoction, and I've shared it with you - but that is another blog post, along with my Lolita Martini Glasses.

I decided to make these Trifles really "trifling" and put them in little dessert glasses since I didn't have a trifle bowl.  They came out really, really REALLY good.  And they are really, really REALLY easy to make.  Tyler Florence's original recipe is Here, if you really CAN cook and somehow just stumbled upon this site by accident - If cooking a custard makes you curdle, you can print out my easy-peasy version Here
First, gather your ingredients.

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 pint blackberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pound cake - 12 oz (3/4 pound) cubed
12 oz. Lemon Curd
*honestly, any combination of fresh berries would work - this is just what I had on hand*
Whip up with heavy cream with the confectioner's sugar.  You should have stiff peaks.  Soft peaks look like they are going to stay, but they flop over, sort of like soft serve.  Stiff peaks stay where you put them, best way to describe it. 

Don't overbeat the heavy cream, or you will wind up with butter.  Not the end of the world, but you are making a trifle, not butter for your breakfast toast.

Next, fold the jar of lemon curd into the whipped cream.  Best way I've found to do this is with a spatula and a gentle touch.  Don't stir it in, you want to keep the volume you just spent the last few minutes coaxing out of the heavy cream.  Use an "over and under" motion until the curd and whipped cream are well combined. (ignore the shallot in the picture - I was making Easter dinner and there was a ton of food on the counter in various stages of preparation.  Folding courtesy of my daughter Meg :-)) Take the berries, toss them together in a bowl.  Now...put a few cubes of cake in the bottom of your dessert glass. 

Be inventive, and use what you have in the house.  I almost used my martini glasses, but I only had four, and needed five.  You could use pilsner glasses if you had parfait spoons.  You could also use a wine glass.  Follow the cake cubes with the mousse, then sprinkle some berries on top of the mousse.  You could even use juice glasses.

Repeat the layers once more, ending with berries as topping.  (You may have to repeat the layers more than twice depending on what type of glass you are using.)

Put them in the fridge for a couple hours so the mousse sets, then serve.  The mousse is very sweet, and very lemony, and offsets the tartness of the berries perfectly.  The plain butter pound cake also helps to tone down the sweetness of the lemon curd.

When your guests "oohh!" and "ahhh!!" over your dessert, just smile and say "Oh, it was nothing!" in a tone of voice that suggests it was something, then look coy when asked for the recipe.  Keep em' guessing :-)


  1. YUM! i don't like fruit but that looks quite delish.
    i like your ending advice !!! haha.
    btw i got your gifts. chocolate= best gift ever. the cards were sweet/funny too :) thankyouuuu so much love youuu

  2. It is quite delish - and very sweet (You'd like that) I *loved* those cards!!! I wanted to buy EVERY ONE OF THEM zomg. I must have looked like an idiot sitting there laughing out loud in the card aisle by myself. Ah who cares? They were funny cards! You don't have to use berries Tina - isn't there any fruit you like? If not, you could prolly just layer the mousse and cake, and grate some lemon zest (skin) on top to make it look purty. Ooooohhh no no no!! CRUMBLED GINGER SNAPS! yummmmmmy!