In my last blog, I wrote about growing up Jewish in a small town in Texas. It was a bit challenging to manage the Christmas season. We wanted to fit in and celebrate with everyone else. Even though my mom would light the menorah all 8 nights of Hanukkah, we would only open small presents. The big gifts were always saved for Christmas morning. I remember leaving cookies and milk for Santa and getting so excited about opening presents on Christmas morning that I could barely sleep. We would wake up very early and run into the living room where all the gifts were wrapped beautifully and arranged in piles for each sibling.
The smells coming from the kitchen were tantalizing as my Mother already had a big roast in the oven. She would always make an incredible Christmas meal– prime rib, smoked ham, wild rice with artichokes and mushrooms, succotash with corn, Lima beans, and tomato, and then for dessert, a trifle. Of course there were other specialties too…eggnog, Texas fruitcake, chopped liver and rye bread and always lots of homemade cookies. But my favorite was the trifle. It was made with layers of homemade cakes, whipped cream, pudding, fresh berries, roasted nuts, and caramel sauce. A little bit of everything and so delicious.
If you don’t know what to make for dessert at your holiday dinner, this trifle is a crowd pleaser!! I will be making it myself for my Christmas Eve dinner!
2 pint strawberries, washed and sliced
2 pints raspberries, washed
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons Grand Marnier
6 tablespoons sugar
1 lemon poundcake
1 chocolate poundcake
(any flavor cakes that you prefer can be substituted)
1 small jar raspberry jam
2 cups lemon curd (available in most grocery stores)
2 pints heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Roasted pecans and pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup caramel sauce
First, macerate the berries. Combine in a bowl the berries, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir well and let sit for two hours in the refrigerator.
Whip the cream in a large bowl (or else it will splatter everywhere) until it forms stiff peaks (about 3 minutes). Add the vanilla and 4 tablespoons sugar and give it one more mix.
Slice each of your poundcakes to 1-inch thickness. Place one layer of lemon cake in the bottom of the trifle dish. You will need to break the cake up with your hands into the correct sizes to make an even layer of cake on the bottom of the dish. Top with a spread of jam, a thin layer of lemon curd, some of the macerated berries, and a light drizzle of caramel sauce.
Then add a layer of whipped cream and a layer of nuts. On top of that place your first layer of chocolate poundcake. Repeat with all of the toppings. Continue on, alternating between lemon cake and chocolate cake until you get close to the top. Your final layer should be whipped cream, a light drizzle of caramel, and some neatly arranged berries and/or nuts.
Let your trifle sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
What desserts do you plan to serve for your holiday meals? Post your comments on the blog! Happy Holidays!