Christmas has come and gone and it still amazes me how this time of year always goes so fast. I took a bit of a break from the blog but I assure you it was an involuntary one. Let’s just say it’s been one busy Fall, I’ll let you in on the past month of my life- there was work (isn’t there always), there was Thanksgiving, a family friends 70th birthday that I did the floral design for, my dad’s trip home to New Zealand, my sisters birthday, a home renovation project that took longer than expected (it was actually my over-ambitious project timeline), a wedding, four Christmas parties, two sets of friends in town, a trip to visit family in the Seattle area (more on that next week), the flu and then Christmas all in about a span of 4 weeks.
All that to say, I’m here and my how good it has felt to be back in the saddle. Cooking Christmas dinner Sunday was actually so much fun partly because I kept it easy with the traditional braised leg of lamb, mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, Kristin’s awesome green bean casserole and I had my trusty sous chef Natasha with me in the kitchen.
I wanted to share a little traditional dessert that I have had every Christmas since I was born – the infamous triffle. Once again, we had triffle this year. Triffle’s are desserts that actually date back to the 16th century, that’s old – like end of the middle ages, start of the Renaissance, Shakespeare old – they are made of sponge or a pound cake soaked in a liqueur, covered in custard, fruit and clotted cream in layers. My mom’s recipe is just cake, custard and cream with a bit of sherry but this year I deviated a bit by adding fresh berries.
I always use my coveted Edmonds Custard Powder from New Zealand – this stuff is like gold. I ration it out.
You can just use any old custard recipe.
I like to let my strawberries sit for a bit in the sherry mixture. It helps break down the strawberries a little.
I have my first layer of diced cake down in my serving bowl. My berries are on stand-by.
Berries down first. You want to pour the sherry onto the cake so it absorbs it.
Pour the cooled custard over the berries. You can be a little bit more generous with it than I was.
Pile on that whipped cream.
Repeat until you make it all the way to the top of the serving bowl or until your ingredients run out.
I like to be sure to finish with the whipped cream on the top. Its only right.
To top it off I even served it in the same crystal bowl that my mom used to serve it in – it’s not my favorite serving piece but it has sentimental value.
I hope you enjoy this very old, very traditional and very yummy recipe.
Triple Berry Triffle
1 pre-made pound cake, diced
3 cups custard, cooled
2 cups cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dry sherry
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ cup blackberries
½ cup blueberries
Make custard in saucepan and let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Slice strawberries and place in bowl with sherry. Rinse other berries and set aside.
Place cream in bowl along with sugar and vanilla, with whisk attachment blend on medium-high until soft peaks form. While cream is mixing, dice your pound cake and set aside in bowl.
To assemble the triffle, place a layer of diced cake at the bottom of the bowl. Cover with strawberry mixture, followed by some of the other berries. Pour a portion of cooled custard until the berries are covered, followed by the cream. Repeat until you get to the top of the bowl, be sure that the cream is at the top.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours but overnight is preferable.