Good morning dear readers! This warm weather has me pumped up for summer days in the garden and summer nights by the grill, and I can’t help but smile when I see lovely stacks of fresh berries popping up at markets around the city. Obviously these aren’t the same plump and juicy berries we’ll be buying from farmer’s markets in a month, but sometimes I just like to play make believe, you know?
And all the big-box retailers know that I’m not the only one pretending summer is here, and they’re stocking their shelves with piles and piles of fresh fruit for eager customers with their eyes (and stomachs) already on summer. For instance, Sam’s Club has giant boxes of mangoes and strawberries littering their aisles, and I walked away with a giant box of each late last week—and I’m still trying to use them all! I’ve made two kinds of jam (Strawberry-Mango and Strawberry-Rhubarb) and two kinds of ice cream (Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream and Mango Sorbet), and I still have fruit to spare.
While I can, of course, think of much worse problems to have, I actually had a similar problem last week after a catering event. I had several boxes of raspberries leftover and nothing to do with them. When I received a trifle dish as a gift the weekend before at my belated bridal shower , and I knew I had to put the thing to good use. Although it turned out I didn’t have enough fruit to make a large trifle, I made several small ones for the weeknight guests I was having (Oh yeah, here’s a shot from my bridal shower. Thanks so much Aunt Margie and Michelle and Meredith! I was so happy to finally get to wear my short wedding dress.)
I decided to go with a very well-rated Raspberry & Sherry Trifle recipe from Paula Deen. I didn’t add sherry to a box mix like she suggested. Instead, I purchased a store-bought angel food cake and used that in between my trifle layers. Perfect and easy! I love this dessert because you can make individual portions and you can make it ahead of time—both big bonuses in my book.
And if you don’t know if you like sherry, this dessert will definitely change your mind. Sherry is a fortified wine (brandy is added to it after fermentation) made in Jerez, Spain. It ranges from very dry to very sweet, depending on what’s added to it. It adds incredible depth to the custard, and this dessert wouldn’t be quite the same without it.
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Raspberry & Sherry Trifle
Adapted from Paula Deen. Serves 12. You can easily halve this recipe to make 6 individual servings. Click here to download a printable copy of this recipe.
1 store-bought angel food cake or pound cake
1 cup dry sherry
7 egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3 (12-ounce) packages frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed
Whipped cream, for garnish, optional
Fresh raspberries, for garnish, optional
Mint leaves, for garnish, optional
Make the custard. Cut the cake into large chunks, about 1½ inches wide. Place the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and sherry into the top of a double boiler. Whisk until completely combined. Place the top pan over simmering water (do not let water touch the bottom of the top pan). With a wooden spoon, stir over medium heat for about 8 minutes, until the custard is quite thick, about the consistency of mayonnaise. Let cool.
Whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar. Take half of the whipped cream and add it to the cooled custard, stirring well.
To assemble: In the bottom of a trifle bowl or a 13 by 9-inch disposable aluminum foil pan, layer 1/3 of the cake cubes, 1/3 of the raspberries, and 1/3 of the custard. Continue layering, ending with custard. Take the remaining whipped cream and completely cover the top of the custard. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with additional whipped cream, fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint, if desired.