A Trifle is a splendid layered dessert, best made a day in advance so the ladyfingers and custard can blend together and soak up the flavor of the brandy. This rich creaminess, mixed with bright flavor of the berries is truly a delight for the taste buds. Because it can be prepared and refrigerated in it’s serving bowl, it’s easily transportable and is a great dessert to bring to a party or for a weekend event.The most challenging part of this recipe is making the custard, it will take about 20 minutes and requires attention. Once the custard is made, this rest is easy. In place of ladyfingers, pound cake or any leftover cake can be used.Berry Trifle
¾ cup brandy (we used a home flavored Quince Brandy)
1 tablespoon William Sonoma Vanilla Bean Paste
1 ⅓ cups whole milk
1 ⅓ cups heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
12 soft lady fingers (store bought)
½ cup cherry jam
1 pint blueberries, washed and allowed to dry
½ pint raspberries, washed and allowed to dry
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Warm milk and cream in a saucepan.
Stir and whisk the mixture constantly until it thickens.
If there are signs of the mixture curdling (it will start looking grainy), fill a sink with a couple inches of water, and add ice. Put the pan in the cold bath and whisk rapidly until the custard smooths out. If it gets desperate, put an ice cube in the custard mix and continue whisking.
When the custard is thick, stir in the Vanilla Bean Paste and 2 tablespoons of the brandy. The custard can be covered with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to chill until needed.
Separate the ladyfingers, spread with jam and sandwich the lid on top. Line the bottom of a clear glass container with the lady fingers.
Sprinkle lady fingers with some of the remaining brandy, toss on a layer of berries and pour on a layer of custard.
Continue layering until container is full or ingredients are gone.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill (24 hours is best).
Top the trifle with whipped cream, a sprig of mint or more berries before serving.