Friday, June 27, 2008

Stars and Stripes Berry Trifle

With creamy custard, tender cake, and fresh fruit, a berry trifle is the perfect summer dessert. The best summer trifles make their appearance right around Independence Day. Here’s what else we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries

Homemade whipped cream takes just minutes to make and tastes much better than store-bought varieties. Use this simple recipe for our homemade whipped cream. We use blueberries and raspberries for color, but any of your favorite summer berries will work just as well.

STEP BY STEP

Building a Better Trifle
While our Stars and Stripes Berry Trifle looks like it's stuffed with mounds of fresh berries, the center is actually layers of the scraps from the jam sandwiches and loads of vanilla custard. Here's how we assemble the trifle.

1. After arranging 7 stars around the outside of the trifle bowl, place 2 cups of jam sandwich scraps in a pile in the center of the dish and then arrange 3 cups of blueberries around the stars.

2. For the raspberry layer, spread 2 cups of custard in the trifle dish, place 1 cup of jam sandwich scraps in the center of the custard layer, and then arrange 2 cups of raspberries around the perimeter.

3. Spread the remaining custard in the dish and place 7 stars around the outside. Arrange remaining blueberries around the stars, leaving the center of the custard devoid of blueberries. Top with remaining raspberries.

Makes enough for a 3-quart trifle dish

2 store-bought pound cakes (16 ounces each), thawed and edges trimmed
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
6 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon water
3 cups fresh raspberries
4 cups vanilla custard , refrigerated until firm
1 cup whipped cream (lightly sweetened)

For the stars: Slice each cake lengthwise into 6 equal pieces. Spread 2 teaspoons jam each on 6 cake slices and top with remaining slices to create jam sandwiches. Using 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out 3 stars from each sandwich. Chop remaining sandwich scraps into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

For the berries: Toss blueberries, 1 tablespoon sugar, and water in bowl. In separate bowl, toss raspberries with remaining sugar. Let sit until sugar dissolves and berries are glossy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble: Arrange 7 star sandwiches upright around bottom of 3-quart trifle dish. Place 2 cups sandwich scraps in center of dish. Arrange 3 cups blueberries around stars, piling up blueberries so that they surround all edges of stars. Spread 2 cups custard in even layer on top of blueberry and cake layer. Place 1 cup sandwich scraps on center of custard layer. Arrange 3 cups raspberries around perimeter of dish. Spread remaining custard in even layer on top of raspberries. Arrange 9 star sandwiches upright around perimeter of dish. Arrange remaining blueberries around stars and pile remaining raspberries in center of dish. Spoon whipped cream on top of raspberries and top with remaining 2 stars.

Recipe from an America's Test Kitchen e-mail newsletter.

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