My sister in law Liz celebrates her birthday in September. This year I told her I wanted to make her a special cake or dessert for her birthday when we got together for our monthly family dinner with the in-laws. I asked her what she wanted and she said either a fruity cake or something with chocolate or caramel. With such a broad range to work with my mind quickly got working on the perfect birthday treat for my beautiful sister. I had recently acquired some gorgeous flavorful peaches from my in-laws peach tree and so knew that they would be the perfect star for my creation. I love love love peaches and more than loving peaches, I love fresh off the tree peaches. I had a blast with this and the results were...even if I say so myself...FREAKING AWESOME!
Peaches and Cream Trifle
For the cake:
Martha Stewart Classic Pound Cake
1 pound (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
4 sticks softened unsalted butter, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 large, room-temperature eggs
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans. Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl.
2.Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract.
3.Lightly beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in 4 additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.
4.Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
For the first Peach Layer:
Approx 12 peaches peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup of sugar- more or less depending on the sweetness of your peaches
1 tbl spoon lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Place all of the ingredients except the vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Recuce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Off heat add the vanilla and stir. Set aside.
(NOTE) If this mixture seems overly liquidy (it should have some substance/body to it) you can thicken it with a little cornstarch and water paste.
For the second peach layer
Approx 6 peaches peeled and cut into moons for layering and garnish
For the Custard Layer:
1 cup of full fat milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp of vanilla essence
4 egg yolks
1 tbl spoon of cornflour
1/3 cup of white sugar
1. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add bean and seeds to the milk mixture, Place over medium heat. Cook, stiring constantly, for 5 or so minutes or until hot. (Do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove from heat.
2. Whisk egg yolks, corn flour and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Remove vanilla beans from milk mixture. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
3. Return mixture back to saucepan over low heat. Cook stiring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon. Be sure not to let the custard boil.
For the cream layer:
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
3 tbls spoons of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon juice
8 ounces of cream cheese softened
Using a hand mixer combine cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla and blend until smooth. In a separate bowl whip cream and sugar together. Fold cream mixture into cream cheese mixture and set aside.
Now the fun begins. Start by spooning a small amount of the cooked peach mixture into the bottom of your trifle bowl so that when you place the first layer of cake into the trifle bowl it has something moist to sit on. Then slice approx half inch layers of the pound cake and layer them into the trifle bowl trying not to leave any large holes. Once you have your cake layer in place spoon some more of the cooked peach mixture over the cake. Follow with a thin spreading of custard. On top of the custard a thin layer of the cream mixture and then finish the layers with a layer of the freshly sliced peaches. Continue layering in this fashion ending with a topping of fresh peaches.
One of the things I like most about triffles is that they are not an exact science. You have all your various layers and you don't have to be stuffy about how you apply them. Ultimately what you are going for is a moist dessert filled with flavors which compliment each other. So if you like more custard...add more custard. If you like more fruit..add more fruit. Have fun with it!!!