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The typical bagatelle in La Beauce is a child’s delight of Jell-O, white cake, and strawberry jam. This grown-up version, with fresh fruit, custard (instead of Jell-O), and a drizzle of marsala was originally published in Saveur in 2000. It's wonderful to bring to a party; it's really easy and really pretty; and most of the time is chilling time.
FOR THE CUSTARD
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE TRIFLE
- 1 loaf poundcake, 8-inch x 4-inch (or equal amount of genoise or sponge cake)
- 2 -4 tablespoons marsala (or rum or brandy)
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- For the custard:.
- Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan.
- Add egg yolks, and whisk to combine; then gradually whisk in milk.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens to the consistency of thick cream, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl, and add vanilla. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.
- For the trifle:.
- Cut cake into 2" x 1" pieces.
- Arrange a layer of cake pieces in the bottom of a large trifle or glass bowl.
- Sprinkle cake with some of the marsala; then spread a layer of strawberry jam over the cake; then scatter some of the raspberries over the jam.
- Pour some of the custard over the berries.
- Repeat layering, ending with custard.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Remove trifle from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
- Just before serving, put heavy cream and sugar into a large, well-chilled mixing bowl.
- Beat cream with a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with whisks until cream holds soft peaks (Do not overbeat).
- Decorate trifle with large dollops of whipped cream.
Great trifle! Subbed strawberries for the raspberries as I had some on hand. We all dug in when this was ready and it actually became our supper! (yes, it's all gone)