Fourth of July Trifle

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.




Fourth of July Trifle

For the pastry cream:

3 egg yolks
3 cups half-and-half plus a small chilled amount
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, warm the 3 cups of half-and-half, but do not boil. In a medium glass bowl or glass measure, beat egg yolks and whisk in sugar, cornstarch, salt and enough chilled half-and-half to create a smooth liquid with all dry ingredients dissolved.

Using a ladle, slowly add some of the warmed half-and-half to temper the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Adding the half-and-half too quickly will cook the eggs; the goal is to bring the egg mixture to about the same temperature as the warmed half-and-half.

Stir warmed egg mixture into the remaining half and half and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, 20-25 minutes. Boil and stir 1 minute, then remove from heat immediately.

To cool mixture quickly, set pan in a larger pan of ice water. Stir occasionally and gently for a few minutes to hasten cooling. Stir in vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of cooled pastry cream to prevent a “skin” from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

For the assembly:

1 pint cubed pound cake
½ cup prepared raspberry sauce
2 cups pastry cream
1 pound fresh blueberries
1 pound fresh strawberries, quartered
1 pound fresh raspberries

Reserve about one-quarter of each berry variety for topping the finished dessert. 

In a straight-sided clear glass bowl, place a layer of the pound cake cubes. Drizzle cake with some of the raspberry sauce. Ladle in 4 ounces of pastry cream, and spread it evenly over the cake. Top the cream with about a quarter of the remaining berries. Repeat the process with the remaining cake, raspberry sauce, cream and berries, holding the reserved berries for the top. Any remaining pastry cream can be used to form a smooth finish to the top of the trifle before adding the reserved berries.

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