Irish Trifle

Old-fashioned trifles in the 19th century were sumptuous affairs, big bowls of homemade cake cubes doused in sherry, fresh summer fruit, custard and cream. Modern Irish trifle is a little more prosaic — usually cake cubes and canned fruit cocktail with Jell-O poured over the cake before it’s covered in readymade custard and cream — but no less beloved. This festive trifle is a happy medium between the two: store-bought pound cake and fresh fruit, homemade custard and freshly whipped cream. The recipe uses green pound cake (a surprise buy that our local store was stocking for St. Paddy’s Day) and canned diced peaches as the fruit to keep the Irish theme. You can make it in one big glass bowl or in little individual dishes as you prefer. The sour strips stuck in the top help lead you to the treat at the end of the rainbow.

Sharon Bowers

Irish Trifle

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    1 16 ounce pound cake, diced into 3/4-inch cubes 2 tsp., plus 1 tsp. vanilla
    1 16 ounce can diced peaches in light syrup 3 Tbsp. butter
    1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. sugar To finish:
    3 Tbsp. cornstarch 2 cups whipping cream
    3 cups whole milk Rainbow sour strip candies, for garnish, optional
    4 egg yolks


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    • 1

      In 8 glass dishes or one large glass bowl, layer the cake cubes. Spoon on the fruit and some of its syrup to douse the cake. Set aside to so the cake can soak up the syrup.

    • 2

      In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly whisk in the milk to prevent lumps forming, then beat in the egg yolks. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly.

    • 3

      While the custard cools, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla till soft peaks form. Pour the custard over the cake and fruit, then top with the whipped cream.

    • 4

      Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving, or as long as overnight. Garnish with 2-inch long pieces of rainbow sour strip candies.

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