Summer Berry Trifle with Lemon Curd

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Happy Summer!

So far we have really been enjoying our first summer in our new house.  We have a ducted heat pump, which allows us the spoils of air conditioning.  In addition,  we have a ventilation system which really helps reduce the humidity and moisture in the air in the house. Finally...if all else fails we can go swimming or kayaking in the lake.  We don't have a dock and the small launch we have is pretty feel free to drop by for a swim or a paddle...just bring some lake shoes...unless you don't mind the unnerving warm muck with a side of lake plants. (p.s. no leeches that we have seen yet).

We have been trying to get out and enjoy some of the nice weather on the weekends.  However, we had a car kerfuffle, which meant a bit too much time, spent in Halifax and Truro in July.  It all worked out though and we are now the proud owners of a new to us, VW jetta.  We have also inherited a Toyota Rav 4 from my friend, Christine.  We really needed a second vehicle, since Andrew can no longer walk home quickly.  While people have pointed out that I can (and yes that is definitely a possibility), since Andrew works late(r), I usually need the vehicle for picking up Emma at daycamp etc.  It's really so far made an improvement in the quality of life in that I don't have to be mooching rides to White Perkins associates to pick up the car when Andrew needs to drive to a client's.

In addition, we learned this weekend that the Rav is awesome for camping.  We just did an over night at Ellenwood Provincial Park; however, that night was also the night of a 2-3 hour thunder and lightning rainstorm.  Our new tent fared pretty well in the rain (from Cabela's).  We were pretty dry; however, the tarp underneath, and the actual outside of the tent was pretty dirty and muddy.  We just stuffed it all the wet gear in the Rav in the next morning and drove the 15 mins home.  No worries....we just have to vacuum up all the needles next weekend.

Speaking of my friend, Christine...I am stealing a recipe that she started making a few years ago.  It's my new favourite go-to dessert for summer get-togethers.  It's a Lemon curd/Summer berry trifle.  Now any good newfoundlander will tell ya that their grandmother or their aunt (pronounced "ant" in NFLD) or their mother made trifle.  It's very nostalgic.

Aren't these measuring bowls the sweetest?  They were a gift from my friend Debbie Z.

Trifle is an old English dessert that had a new-found generational hey-day in the 80s; where strange concoctions with gelatin were common. Traditionally, it has some sort of booze or liquor soaked cake in there...and some custard; jell-o, if you were really 80s. I don't prefer booze in my desserts.  I am not a fan of spirits and I don't think red wine or beer would make a good dipping sauce for cake.

The following trifle is a little bit more sophisticated (I would like to think). still requires an 80s footed trifle bowl to ensure authenticity. The one I am using is borrowed from Christine, herself.  I don't have one.  If anyone has one that they would like to part with or if they see one at frenchy's...let me know!

This dessert requires the following:

1 cup of lemon curd (if you wanna make your own, see below)
1 angel food cake or vanilla pound cake
2 cups (at least) of summer berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
1 500ml and 1 250 mls packages of whipping cream

I enjoy making my own lemon curd.  It's really not hard (although I get that it's intimidating).  I am sure if you were really not keen, you could buy one of those jars of lemon curd or buy lemon pie filling at bulk barn...but fresh is where it's at!

For homemade lemon curd:

3 eggs
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of lemon zest
Juice from three large lemons (approximately 1/2cup)
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cubed

Combine, with a whisk, everything but the butter, in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan on medium heat.  Stir continuously with silicone spatula until sauce thickens; approximately 5 mins).  You should be able to draw a line in the lemon curd stuck to the back of your spatula. As soon as it thickens, remove from heat and stir in the cubed butter.

At this is a must, to strain your curd.  This collects any wayward pieces of cooked egg that you might not have been able to prevent.  No one likes lumpy, eggy curd. I use a strainer from the dollar store. Strain/pour the lemon curd into a heatproof bowl. Take a piece of plastic wrap and touch it to the surface of the lemon curd, to avoid getting a film on the surface, as it cools. Place in the fridge for at least an hour.


Take your cake and cut into cubes or slabs.  I like to use the angel food cake in a tube pan that you buy from the store.  I cut the cake into three slices.

Whip your heavy cream with a stand or hand mixer and set aside.

I then assemble the trifle in layers.  Using your kickass trifle bowl; you start with a thin layer of whipped cream. (This prevents the cake from sticking to the bottom). Then place the first layer of cake, followed by berries.  Then spoon on half of the lemon curd.  Follow with whipped cream.  You repeat this process again.  With the final layer of cake, you layer with berries and top with whipped cream.  You can garnish with more berries or mint leaves.  I swear that this dessert will bring all nostalgic or elderfolk to the yard.

For bonus points, enjoy with an 80s cocktail, like slush. If you want a mocktail...stick to the pink lemonade from frozen concentrate in a peel-able can.

Ah, memories.


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