Sunday, May 9, 2010

Strawberry and Rhubarb Trifle

Here again is a simple yet brilliant culinary tradition brought to us by the British. What could be a more perfect way to showcase fresh, seasonal fruits than to loosely combine them in a delightful muddle of sponge cake, custard and whipped cream? If you don't have a trifle dish, use another pretty dish, or make individual trifles in glasses or parfait dishes.

The variations on the basic trifle are endless, which merely reaffirms its status as a truly classic recipe. All of its components can be changed to suit what you have on hand. Use almost any fruits, or use jam. The cake can be chocolate or any other flavor, or use ladyfingers or other cookies. (Just don't use Twinkies, you hear?) The custard layer soaks into the cake, so you can use other sauces and puddings to your heart's content.

A lovely way to celebrate a Mom who is the cream of the crop, as mine truly is.

3 pints fresh strawberries, trimmed and either left whole or sliced

Some fresh rhubarb that you have washed, trimmed and cooked with a little water and sweetener of your choice (I used agave syrup)

1 recipe Creme Anglaise from Joy of Cooking, or any custard sauce recipe you like; you'll need about 2 cups.

1 8-inch square (or 13- x 9-inch) sponge cake (or any firm cake) from your favorite recipe, cooled and cut into approximately 1-inch cubes

1 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds

1 to 2 cups whipping cream, whipped and lightly sweetened if you wish

Spread a little rhubarb in the bottom of the trifle bowl. Top with half the cake cubes. Pour half of the Creme Anglaise evenly over the cubes. Arrange half the strawberries over that, and spread a generous layer of rhubarb over them. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the almonds over the rhubarb. Add the remaining cake cubes, pour the rest of the Creme Anglaise over them, and arrange remaining strawberries on top. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve, up to a few hours.

Spread whipped cream evenly over top of trifle and scatter remaining 1/2 cup almonds over. Serve onto plates or into bowls. I used a wedge-shaped flat pie server to cut vertically down into the trifle like a pie, and lifted out roughly wedge-shaped, gloppy servings. But a big spoon would work too.

This dish served 6 people, with almost universal second helpings, with about 4 servings left over. Remember that you can size this dish smaller quite easily!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! It is lovely to look at. We really like what you are doing!