Heeelllo peeps! I have missed writing to you all, I have! Ok, I know what you’re thinking. I missed Menu Monday. Again. Oh I know!! But seriously, my weekend was madness — I didn’t even have time to clean the house, let alone write a meal plan (friends and fam, had you popped by unannounced, I would have drawn the blinds and pretended I wasn’t home. Yes, the house was *that* untidy).
One of the weekend highlights was celebrating Nan and Pa’s 60th wedding anniversary. They got a letter from the Queen and everything! The fam and I picnicked at Sugarloaf Reservoir Park on Sunday, and geez, the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. I was given the task of making a dessert, and so I thought “What dessert screams Nan?” — of course it had to be a Trifle. I cannot recall a Christmas in Nagambie when Trifle wasn’t on the menu. We kids would come padding up the hot sandy steps with wet feet, dripping from our swim in the lake, crash on beach towels on the lawn and scoff down a generous portion of jelly, custard and sponge-cake goodness.
I didn’t make Nan’s peach and sherry classic, I put my own spin on it with raspberries and Cointreau. I’ve popped the recipe below for y’all. Be aware that you need a great big glass bowl in which to serve — I didn’t, and ended up using two glass Pyrex mixing bowls, very classy. But the good news is, I only took the big one to the picnic, and so have the little one to dine on (Dad came over last night to give me a hand. Very generous Dad).
Nan Tribute Trifle
1.5 litre bottle of Cranberry and Raspberry juice (set aside 1/2 cup for later)
6 teaspoons gelatine powder
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup Cointreau (or to taste)
500g frozen raspberries (or less is fine)
In a bowl, combine the gelatine with a couple tablespoons of juice, and stir until combined. Heat the rest of the juice in a pot with the sugar and Cointreau, until it begins to boil. Simmer for a minute or so, then turn off the heat and throw in the gelatine mixture (which will probably look a little like a rubbery disc); stir until dissolved. Put frozen raspberries into your serving bowl, and pour over the hot liquid. Allow to cool a little before covering in plastic wrap and placing in the fridge.
8 egg yolks (make meringues with the whites!)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 cups (single) cream (if you’re not sure, check the label — should be about 38% fat) — or there abouts. I bought two 600ml cartons of cream, as you’ll need whipped cream to finish later.
1-2 vanilla beans (I used two, which was a little bit overkill when you taste the custard by itself, but is mellowed out when combined with the other bits and pieces)
Place the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour into a mixer and beat until it’s thick and pale. In the meantime, place the cream in a pot with the split and scraped vanilla bean/s and heat until hot (but be careful not to boil, as this will spoil!). Continue beating the egg mixture while adding the hot cream in a thin stream. When all combined, return to the pot and heat gently whilst constantly stirring. I like to use a spatula, so that I can get into the nooks and crannies, but a wooden spoon works too. Heat until thickened, then remove from the heat, and pour into a bowl to cool. In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cream (should be a couple of cups) to a soft peak with a tablespoon of caster sugar, and about half a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Stir about a cup of the whipped cream through the custard. Cover both the custard and cream with plastic wrap, (and ensure you make contact with the top of the custard itself, as this will prevent a skin from forming), and keep in the fridge until needed.
1-2 store-bought jam sponge rolls (yes, I cheated. I was time-poor, ok?! Do NOT tell anyone)
1/2 cup extra Cranberry and Raspberry juice (you set this aside before, remember?)
1/2 cup Cointreau or to taste
When your jelly has set (usually takes a couple hours, or overnight is good), you are ready to layer! Slice 1.5cm rounds of the jam roll, and layer on top of the jelly. Combine the extra juice and Cointreau, and drizzle over the jam roll. I can’t recall the exact quantity, but ideally you want your jam roll to be quite moist, but not soaking. Dry is not great either — you be the judge! I then scattered with a couple extra fresh raspberries, but this wasn’t particularly necessary. Then pour over the custard over the top, and smooth with a spatula. Do the same with the cream. Voila!
You can also sprinkle with roasted flaked almonds, if you can be bothered (or have the time. I didn’t).
The best thing about this dessert is you don’t need to be too fussy with quantities — oh it’s best to measure, but don’t be precious about it. As my Dad would say ‘bang it in!’. It’ll turn out just fine.
But do keep this in mind: one teaspoon of gelatine to one cup of juice. Jelly is a damn fine summer dessert on its own, and you can get really creative with your combo’s. I’ve made a blood orange and Campari jelly before which was delish. I would definitely stick with ‘clear’ juices though, or properly strain pithy ones. What about apple juice and cinnamon? Mmm. Or cherry and brandy? Righto, this summer I’m going to get stuck into discovering the world’s greatest jelly flavour! Enjoy!
[...] shower invitation' post, and a mini's version of the trifle recipe I told you about in the 'more than a mere trifle' post. In case you were wondering, that big ol' trifle recipe makes about 20 mini's. This time [...]
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