Here we go again. My next choice of Tyler’s recipes to try was his Ultimate Berry Trifle and once again I am wandering around the supermarket this time trying to find lemon curd. As I wrote my grocery list I imagined that I would find the lemon curd in the jelly aisle. Well, there I stood and I saw jelly, jam and marmalade but no lemon curd. Why am I not surprised!
Okay, so I wandered over to the canned fruit aisle hoping to find it there. No. After a long sigh I decided to approach a grocery clerk for help. The gentleman I decided to approach turned out to be a very nice man. I told him what I was looking for, the aisles that I had already tried and was very discouraged that I could not find what I needed. He looked at me with a very friendly smile and asked what exactly lemon curd was. So, I explained that I used lemon curd as a spread on my scones. Actually, Wikipedia’s description of lemon curd is a dessert spread and topping ususally made with lemon, orange or raspberry. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks; sugar, fruit juice and zest, which are gently cooked together until thick and then, allowed to cool, forming a smooth, intensely flavored spread. “I like scones” remarked the clerk. “Well then, you should get some yourself and try it”, I said. Then he asked me what I was going to use it for.
I started my reply by asking him if he had seen the movie “Julie & Julia” and he said he had. I went on to tell him that my daughters and I had decided to do the same with Tyler’s Ultimate cookbook. I told him that I had decided to make Tyler’s Berry Trifle. Now think about this, here I am in the middle of a supermarket having a very long conversation with a grocery clerk about lemon curd, movies, my children, a cookbook and my frustration at trying to find ingredients. People walking by would have thought we were very good friends who happened to be at the market at the same time.
His very next questions was, “What exactly is trifle?” Okay, so I explained what trifle was and how I came about choosing this particular recipe to try. When I finally finished telling him what traditional English trifle and the variations were he said, “I know exactly who will be able to help”. Before he left me he looked back and said, “Okay, so you are the lady with the, “This Grandma Belongs To…” tee shirt. I told him not to worry that I would remain in the area.
Lo and behold in a few minutes a woman emerged from the back of the store and proceeded to the baking aisle and reaching up to the top of a shelf pulled down a jar of lemon curd. I never would have looked in the baking aisle. I thanked both of them profusely and went happily to the checkout counter.
Now armed with all the ingredients I needed I started to think about what bowl I would use to put the trifle in. The very first timie I made trifle was back in the mid-seventies when I hosted my first Christmas party at my home in Virginia. At the time I was young and poor and just starting out raising a family but wanted so much to be social with family, friends, neighbors so I set about to do my best putting a party together on a budget. According to the recipe I needed a trifle bowl. What in heavens name was a trifle bowl? Well, never being one for gadgets or specialty things I could not see the necessity in buying a bowl that I would only use once perhaps twice a year. So the search was on for something I could use for many purposes. At the same time I also needed a punch bowl. One day I was in Dart Drug and there I found just what I needed, an Anchor Hocking, cut glass punch bowl set. For only $9.99 I got a large punch bowl, a smaller bowl that was the pedestal for the punch bowl, a ladle and sixteen cups. I was in heaven!
While the smaller bowl was not a proper trifle bowl it was a beautifully cut glass bowl that I could see using over and over again for many wonderful foods. Over the years I actually went through two of these sets. Unfortunately, I used the punch bowl so much for parties at my house, PTA meetings, lending it to neighbors that both of the larger bowls eventually cracked. I still have the two smaller bowls, which have seen much wear over the years. However, this time I would not be able to use my lovely bowl because it was too big. Tyler’s recipe was for four my bowl held a recipe for eight.
Again, I just did not want to spend the money to purchase a bowl with such limited use so started to look around the house for something suitable. And, there they were my beautiful crystal water goblets. So, instead of making one trifle I decided to make four individual trifles.
Now with my ingredients in hand and my four crystal goblets I was ready to start preparing the trifle. One, two, three it was done. While the berry mixture was cooling I whipped up the cream mixture and then layered the cream, fruit and cake into each goblet. Tyler was right, the recipe took only thirty minutes and was simple to put together.
The berry trifle was terrific. I loved the wonderful combination of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. The lemon curd mixed with the heavy cream, wonderful. Randy and I enjoyed it tremendously. Putting the trifle into the crystal goblets turned a simple dessert into an elegant dessert. This would be a great dessert for a small, intimate dinner party.
I decided to give the other two portions to my neighbor so I could get another opinion about the recipe. Later in the day Eva called and this is what I heard, “Wow…oh, boy…best we ever had…could only eat one because it was so rich…this is a keeper” and then she asked if I would share the recipe. I told her that we felt the same way and would be glad to share.
*Note: The link to this scrumptious dessert unfortunately does not include the ‘how to’ instructions only the ingredients. Here is the ‘how to’: Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and let cool; the mixture should thicken up as it cools.
In a clean bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and stir in a little of the whipped cream to loosen it. Then fold in the rest of the cream.
To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake, breaking the slices into pieces to fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
**Note–The recipe on the Foodnetwork is different than the one in the book as they both have the same ingredients but different amounts. I have found this discrepancy in more than one of the recipes in the Ultimate Cookbook.
This blog first appeared on Facebook November 7th 2009.