Friday, December 4, 2009

Trifle with Roasted Apples, Pears and Caramel Sauce

      What Tiramisu is to the Italians, Trifle is to the English. Layers of soft sherry soaked cake alternate with silky, cinnamon flavored pastry cream and intensely flavored roasted apples and pears. Finished with a rich caramel sauce and sweetened whipped cream, whats not to like? Trifles are great for entertaining since they can be mostly assembled a day ahead of time, with minimal finishing touches. 

     I usually make trifle with pound cake, but ladyfingers looked like they would be a nice change, and a time saver since at this time of year you can usually get decent ones at Trader Joe's. However, my Trader Joe's didn't have them, so no time saved, and I had to make my own, which was ok because I have made them many times and they are pretty easy. The results are so worth the little bit of effort- soft, creamy and delicious. I will save that recipe for another time (maybe closer to Christmas, when we always make our traditional Christmas Eve Tiramisu). With ladyfingers or poundcake, this trifle has a great flavor and was a beautiful, tasty addition to our Thanksgiving table.

Trifle with Roasted Apples, Pears and Caramel Sauce
adapted from BonAppetit  November 2003- I made several changes to the original recipe and my version appears below.

3 ½ doz. Soft Ladyfingers
Cinnamon Pastry Cream
Caramel Sauce
Roasted Fruit
1/3 cup dry sherry
2 cup chilled whipping cream
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Pastry Cream
6 egg yolks
2 cups milk
¾ cup sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Whisk egg yolks and ½ cup milk in large bowl. Add sugar, flour vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Bring remaining 1 ½ cups of milk to simmer in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk milk into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook until custard thickens and boils, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add butter, stir until melted. Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, press directly onto surface of custard. Chill until cold.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup cream
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Blend the sugar and water in a 1 ½ qt sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and swirl the pan by the handle to make sure all of the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is perfectly clear. Return pan to moderately high heat; cover and boil for several minutes. After a minute or so peek at syrup, when the bubbles are thick uncover the pan.
Continue boiling, swirling the pan by the handle until the syrup begins to color. When it is a light caramel color remove from the heat and continue swirling and the color will darken more. To stop cooking place bottom of the pan in cool water.
Slowly add the cream, which will congeal the caramel. Return pan to low heat and simmer, stirring until the caramel dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and salt. Use warm or cool. Refrigerated in a covered jar, the sauce will keep for weeks.

Roasted fruit
3 large Fuji Apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into ½ inch cubes, (about 3 cups)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In bowl toss fruit, lemon juice and butter. Spread on a rimmed cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the oven, roast until fruit is soft and golden, turning with metal spatula every 15 minutes, for about 1 hour. Cool fruit sheet.

Assembly: Pour sherry in a small bowl. Dip top side of lady finger in sherry. Line the bottom of a 2-3 quart glass trifle dish with a single layer of lady fingers, sherry side up. Line the edge with one row of ladyfingers, sherry side in. Spoon half of pastry cream over ladyfingers, smooth top. Cover with half of the fruit. Drizzle ½ cup of caramel sauce over fruit. Line edge of dish with a second row of ladyfingers, sherry side in. Cover fruit with a single layer of ladyfingers. Spoon remaining pastry cream over ladyfingers followed by remaining fruit drizzled with ½ cup of caramel sauce. Line the side of the dish with a third layer of ladyfingers, sherry side in. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or over night.

In a bowl, whip cream, sugar and vanilla until it hold cream holds a peak. Spoon or pipe cream over trifle, drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve with remaining caramel sauce.

printable recipe