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I was so pleased when I learned that the lovely and talented Elise from Simply Recipes would be hosting this month's IMBB event, IMBB15: Has My Blog Jelled?. Although I am not a fan of flavoured gelatin (whereas my husband subscribes to the "there's always room for Jello" school of thought), I do have a special place in my heart for a particular dessert that incorporates it.
We had wonderful neighbours when I was growing up; a young English family moved in next door when I was six years old, and became our favourite people ever in next to no time- still are, matter of fact. We lovingly refer to them as the short branch of our family (we're all over 5'8") and we've shared so many things over the years, from births to weddings, always with the accompanying get-together and communal nosh. One particular recipe that came from them, and was most always on the table at cookouts and summer fetes, was this particular English Trifle. Now, I know that there are just about as many recipes for Trifle as there are British families, and I'm sure they all look the business and are quite tasty, but I do happen to think this one is the one for you. The very best one. The one you should make.
That may sound a bit bold, but I can back it up. You see, you can posh this up or dumb it down (said with much affection, natch) as you see fit...as time and inclination allows...no matter the season. Make your own sponge or pound cake, or pick up a jelly roll at the store- even stale will do. Make the custard yourself, or use a mix from a box (not instant, please). Use fresh fruit in season, or frozen when you can't. Decorate the top with flowers and fresh fruit or, in desperate times, use jimmies or even M&Ms. The only substitution I cannot condone is Cool Whip for real whipped cream- please, just make the real thing. Also, a deep, straight-sided glass bowl is absolutely essential- don't proceed until you have one.
However you end up putting together your Trifle, it's sure to be a smashing success. A hit with kids and adults alike, you'll have a show-stopper on your hands with not much effort put in, all told.
LADY FINGERS, POUND CAKE or JELLY ROLL, cut into small pieces
1 or 2 glugs SHERRY, optional
1 large or 2 small boxes RASPBERRY or STRAWBERRY FLAVOURED GELATIN
ASSORTED FRUIT: PEARS, PEACHES, RASPBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES, etc.
1 batch VANILLA CUSTARD* or 1 large box VANILLA PUDDING
2 cups HEAVY or WHIPPING CREAM
GARNISH: fresh FLOWERS and FRUIT or CANDY
N.B. I have not included specific amounts for the cake and fruit, because it depends on the size of the bowl you are using. The one I use is large and quite deep, so I use one whole pound cake and about 4 cups of fruit.
1. Arrange the cake on the bottom of the bowl, and pour over the sherry if using.
2. Prepare the flavoured gelatin, pour over the cake (it should just cover it), and chill to set.
3. Cut up the fruit and arrange it in a layer over the cake/gelatin base. If using fresh, reserve some for the garnish.
4. Prepare the custard and cool. Spread it over the fruit layer and chill.
5. About an hour before serving, beat the heavy or whipping cream until it holds a stiff peak and spread it over the custard layer.
6. Arrange your garnish of choice on top of the whipped cream, and present to your adoring fans with a flourish!
Please head on over to Elise's round-up of all the entries- she's done an incredible job of including everyone. There are so many tasty, creative, fantastic entries that you won't know what to try your hand at first!
*recipe will be added to post on Monday.