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Christmas Custard or Christmas Trifle

Christmas Custard or Christmas Trifle

This has to be one of my favorite Christmas desserts. This silky rich vanilla scented custard layered with raspberries and kiwi fruit carries the red and green theme of the season. By using a heavy bottomed saucepan and a low uniform heat it’s possible to make a smooth custard without a double boiler. This can be transformed into a trifle by adding a layer of sherry soaked sponge cake or lady fingers.

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch 15mL
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar 150mL
  • salt
  • 2 cups milk 500mL
  • 2 cups light cream 500mL
  • 1 piece (2 in/5 cm) vanilla bean
  • or 1 tsp(5 ml)vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 pkg (15 oz/425 g) frozen raspberries
  • 3 kiwi
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream whipped 125mL

In large heavy bottomed saucepan blend cornstarch with sugar and a little salt. Whisk in milk and light cream; add vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract do not add until custard is cool) and, stirring constantly bring to simmer over moderate heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes to cook cornstarch and to develop vanilla flavor. Reduce heat to low. *KEEP HEAT LOW OR EGGS WILL CURDLE*

Beat eggs and egg yolks until smooth; blend in 1 cup(250mL) of the hot milk, then whisk egg mixture back into hot milk in saucepan. Stirring constantly with whisk, cook until custard is thick and smooth about 5 to 8 minutes. I have found that when I think it is cooked if I just cook it a bit longer I get better results. Remove from heat and let cool. A quick way to do this is to set the saucepan in a sink of ice cubes and cold water. Whisk custard periodically as it cools. Remove vanilla bean or stir in vanilla extract if using. (A vanilla can be used over and over again until it is no longer fragrant.) The custard can be made and refrigerated, covered with a sheet of plastic wrap directly on its surface, for 1 to 2 days.

About 3 hours before serving, unwrap raspberries and thaw at room temperature in sieve. Berries keep their shape better if served while slightly icy. (Save any juice that drains off for fruit salads or punch.) Peel and slice kiwi fruit. Set aside about 15 of the most perfect raspberries and 12 slices of the kiwi fruit for garnish. Set the garnishing berries on paper towels to drain.

In 8 cup (2 L) glass or crystal bowl, layer custard with remaining raspberries and kiwi fruit, finishing off with a layer of custard. arrange 12 kiwi fruit slices in a “S” across the top of custard and garnish with the perfect raspberries. For an extra lavish touch pipe or spoon whipped cream among berries and kiwi fruit.

Makes 8 servings.

For our next favorite Christmas dessert Chocolate Pâté
For our favorite recipes for all seasons click on the image
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