I know this post is a little passe (sorry, the past couple of weeks have been super busy!), but I wanted to share my 4th of July treat with y'all anyway because it was reallyyy yummy. And even though the 4th has come and gone, this is a great recipe that can easily be adapted for any occasion. Just swap in your favorite fruit and jam, and you're ready to party! I call this a "triple berry" trifle because I layered the cake and custard with fresh 1) blueberries and 2) strawberries, and also spread some 3) raspberry preserves on the pieces of cake. It's a perfect blend of tangy and sweet from the mix of berries, and it's topped with a creamy custard and lemony soaked cake... yeah, it's pretty much heaven.
Note: A Few of My Favorite Things About Trifles
Trifles are absolutely perfect for entertaining. First of all, they are beautiful! Just set one on a counter, and bask in the oohhs and ahhs of the crowd. Second, the longer it sits, the more the flavors develop and the custard soaks into the cake. That means, it's better if you make it the day before, and then the day of service = no stress. Wonderful! Lastly, despite the fact that my trifle looks fancy, it was really easy to make. While it did take some time to assemble, there are no challenging cooking or baking techniques whatsoever. So if you're a novice in the kitchen, I promise, you will feel very comfortable with this recipe! And then, people will wonder where you picked up such awesome skills. :)
Okay, enough serious talk. Now it's time for a trifle... (har-har)
** TRIPLE BERRY TRIFLE **
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Custard/Whipped Cream Layer
* 12 oz. cream cheese, room temp (I used Neufchatel, which is 1/3 the fat, and it was still delicious!)
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 2 cups heavy cream, room temp
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch slices
* 6 oz. raspberry preserves
* 1 1/2 pints blueberries* 1 1/2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
* To make the soaking liquid, combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Take the sauce pan off the heat, and stir in the almond extract. Let cool while you make the rest of your goodies.
* To make the custard, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla, and continue beating on medium until it becomes more like a whipped cream consistency. It won't entirely whip, but will look something like this.
* 1) Layer the bottom of your trifle dish with the cake squares. I like to put the jam side down, so it sticks, and the custard can soak in from the top.
* Note: As you're layering each ingredient, think about how many layers you would like. I got 3 layers of each, so I just made sure that each layer I only used 1/3 of that particular ingredient. So here is 1/3 of the cake squares for the first layer:
* 3) Layer the custard or berries. As you can see, I layered my blueberries first for decorative purposes. Although, I recommend layering your custard next, because then the custard will soak more into the cake. (The beautiful thing about a trifle is that you can really layer it however you want!)
* 4) Layer your custard or berries (depending whichever you haven't layered as of yet).
* Note: I always recommend refrigerator your trifle for at least 12 hours. That way the custard soaks into the cake, making it oh-so delicious!!* And after some waiting, and much anticipation, you're ready to impress with a super easy, beautiful, and tasty trifle! Time to get your big spoon...
Recipe adapted from here.