Guest Chick Monday: Nan Dixon gives us Just a Trifle

Please welcome Nan Dixon,  a two-time Golden Heart finalist and a self-confessed contest junkie.  Her heroines spend a lot of time in the kitchen and therefore so do her heroes.  If Nan’s not typing on her laptop, she’s usually in her kitchen or watching the Food Network.   Nan lives in Minnesota and writes contemporary romance, and has fabulous taste in naming her heroines.  ;)

Just a Trifle

One of my favorite desserts that my British mother taught me to create is trifle.  Trifle is the traditional dessert for Christmas Eve in our house.  So when I created Abigail, the heroine in SAVANNAH SIGHS, my 2011 Golden Heart© finalist novel, I made her a chef at the family bed and breakfast.  She creates fabulous desserts for the afternoon teas held at the B&B.  Of course, when Abby makes trifle – she makes 6 at a time.  I’ve only ever done 2 in one setting.  I do lighten up on the Sherry for my kids.

Here’s what you need:

Ladyfingers (If you can’t find them – I use Angel food cake)

Dry Sherry  (not cooking sherry – it contains salt)

Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding

8 oz – Jam – I use my homemade Raspberry jam

Whipping cream

Optional fresh fruit – Strawberries or raspberries

Decorative sugars – colored

A glass trifle dish – or other dish that will show off the layers

What To Do:

Layer the bottom of your dish with Ladyfingers or angel food cake

Sprinkle about a teaspoon (or more) of Sherry on the layer.

Spread the jam on top of the ladyfingers

Cook the vanilla pudding, but eliminate about a quarter of a cup of milk.  Follow the directions on the package for cooking.  Before it is finished cooking, add a slosh of sherry.

Pour the pudding over the ladyfingers and jam.

Cover loosely (so the steam escapes) and chill.

If you would like to add a layer of fresh strawberries or raspberries, this is where you would add them once the pudding has cooled.  Since I am allergic to them – I don’t.

Prepare whipping cream.  I throw my bowl and beaters in the freezer just to keep them cold.  Once peaks start to form slowly, add sugar by the teaspoon until sweet (to your taste).  Then – you guessed it – add sherry.

Spread the whipping cream over the chilled trifle.  Decorate with colorful sugars.  For Christmas, I use red and green, Easter –pastels, whatever I have on hand.  They will melt into the whipping cream.

When serving — dip into all layers.  Enjoy.