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English Trifle With Pears And Dried Cherries


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  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 3 Bartlett pears
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 2 cups raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup slivered almonds toasted*
  • 1 Sponge Cake (see recipe) (or one 9" by 5" bakery pound cake)
  • 1 cup sherry (preferably amontillado or oloroso), Madeira or sweet Marsala
  • 2 recipes Crème Anglaise - (see recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Servings 10


Step 1

* To toast the slivered almonds, in a small, dry fry pan over medium-low heat, stir the almonds frequently until they are fragrant and begin to turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Put the dried cherries in a small bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let stand for at least 30 minutes to plump the cherries. Drain. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the cherries for garnish.

Peel the pears, halve lengthwise, core and cut the pears crosswise into thin slices. Put them in a bowl, add the lemon juice and toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine the jam with the warm water and stir. Reserve about 2 tablespoons almonds for garnish.

Cut the sponge cake into slices 1/2-inch thick. In a 2 1/2-quart trifle dish or deep glass bowl, make a layer of one-third of the cake slices, cutting and fitting them together as necessary. Sprinkle the cake layer with one-third of the sherry. Dollop one-third of the jam mixture over the cake. Sprinkle the jam with one-third each of the pears, cherries and almonds, in that order. Pour 1 1/3 cups of the crème anglaise over the top. Repeat to make 2 more layers.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the trifle for at least 2 hours or for up to overnight.

About 30 minutes before serving, make the whipped cream: In a deep bowl, using a balloon whisk, beat the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon the cream over the top of the trifle. Garnish with the reserved cherries and almonds. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. To serve, scoop out large spoonfuls, going down to the bottom layer.

This recipe yields 10 to 12 servings.

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