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Monday, January 4, 2010

Raspberry Amaretto Trifle

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This dessert reminds me of being a kid, as my mom would sometimes make it as the "fancy" dessert for the adults she was entertaining, while us kids stuck to the sugar cookies. Although I'll never grow sick of the sugar cookies (probably ate 10 of them in the few days I was home), I've come to appreciate a more gourmet dessert, such as this one. When I was trying to come up with the perfect dessert for the New Year's Eve dinner party we were attending, my mom reminded me of this recipe. I had made it once before and remembered how yummy tasting and impressive looking it was--two key ingredients for a NYE dessert, if you ask me!

I have no idea where the original recipe of this comes from; it's actually a raspberry-pear trifle with amaretti cookies. My mom has modified the recipe, and so it's her version that I'm posting below. This dessert, the custard or the whole thing, can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. The number of steps below may seem daunting, but the end result is worth the process and the fact that you can make the custard ahead of time makes the rest of it very easy!

Raspberry Amaretto Trifle

-2 1/4 cups milk
-3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1/8 tsp salt
-6 large egg yolks
-1/4 cup almond-flavor liqueur (amaretto)
-2 10oz. packages frozen raspberries, thawed
-1 cup heavy or whipping cream
-1 10.75 frozen ready-to-serve pound cake, thawed and cut into 1 inch cubes
-raspberries for garnish

1. Prepare custard: In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cup sugar just to boiling. Remove from heat.

2. In a medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix 1/2 cup milk with cornstarch and salt until smooth; beat in egg yolks until blended.

3. Into yolk mixture, stir a small amount of hot milk mixture. Gradually stir yolk mixture back into milk mixture in the saucepan.

4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in liqueur.
5. Pour custard into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the hot custard (this keeps a skin from forming on the custard) and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

6. Place frozen raspberries in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of sugar and set aside.

7. In a small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat heavy/whipping cream, gradually adding 3 tablespoons of sugar, until stiff peaks form. Set aside 1 cup of whipped cream for garnish. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the chilled custard.

8. Arrange cut cake slices, covering the bottom of a trifle dish. Spoon 1 cup of raspberries over cake, allowing some to show at sides of the bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups custard over and smooth with a spatula.

9. Repeat layers twice more, finishing with remaining custard.

10. Cover and refrigerate trifle at least 4 hours or overnight. Before serving, garnish with whipped cream & fresh raspberries.