Our last Gr8 dinner of 2007 was hosted by Anna and Vince. The menu for their Old English Christmas Dinner was spectacular! Joel and I were asked to bring the dessert, a Cranberry Cognac Trifle. Trifle is an English dessert that brings together fruit, cake, custard, brandy, and whipped cream. I had a trifle dish that I enjoyed using to serve fruit salad in but had never attempted an actual trifle. I’m usually up for a challenge in the kitchen and I’m happy I decided to go for it. This trifle is a melding of so many wonderful flavors! The custard is simmered with orange zest and when you taste the final dish, the orange and cranberry flavors with a tinge of brandy makes your mouth water for more, more, more!
When you look at this recipe, it might seem overwhelming. It really isn’t! Starting 3 to 4 days before you serve the trifle will make the task so much easier. I made the cakes on Wednesday and wrapped them in plastic and put them in the refrigerator. On Thursday I made the cranberry jam and cognac syrup (both are one pot, easy to make recipes!). On Friday I made the custard and Saturday morning I assembled the dish and put it back into the refrigerator (it should sit for at least 8 hours at this point) and then Saturday night it was the perfect English dessert to end a wonderful meal.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.