Recipe / Paulls Valley trifle

Freddie Kronborg / Slow Food Perth long table paddock luncheon / May 2006
Uses rhubarb, raspberry and pernod sauce made by Western Australian 2006 Terra Madre participant Patricia Tew of Bullsbrook

Make two single layer sponges in a standard round or square tin, or buy plain sponges, turn out and then leave for a day or two in a covered cake tin to enable the cakes to lose moisture.

Crème patissière
one-and-a-half cups full cream milk
150ml thickened cream
one third cup vanilla sugar
three egg yolks
quarter cup plain flour [sieved]
250g mascarpone or King Island crème fraiche [according to taste]

Whisk egg yolks and flour with enough milk to form a smooth thick liquid in a large bowl. In a saucepan, heat remaining milk, cream and vanilla sugar almost to boiling point. Do not boil. Remove from heat and pour milk mixture over yolk-mixture, whisking constantly, and replace into saucepan. Heat gently until custard thickens. Again, do not boil. Remove from heat and cool for five minutes or so, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Whisk in mascarpone or crème fraiche, transfer to a cool bowl and cool quickly [eg: sit bowl in a larger bowl of cold water], stirring occasionally. Store in fridge with plastic wrap touching the surface to avoid a skin from forming.

To prepare trifle, used a large, clear glass bowl or tall glass vase that will fit in your fridge.

You will also need:
200g dried cherries and 200g dried cranberries
200g slivered almonds, toasted
two 250ml Food Symphony rhubarb raspberry & pernod sauce [depending on size of the bowl to be used for the trifle]
fine sherry or muscat

Slice the aged sponge horizontally into 1cm layers and trim to a shape that fits your bowl or vase. Place this layer across the base of bowl. Some bricklaying-like work may be required to ensure you cover the area to the edges of the bowl. Drizzle with a fine black sherry or a good muscat so that the sponge layer is wet but not drowned. Add a liberal dose of Food Symphony rhubarb raspberry & pernod sauce so that the sponge is completely covered. Scatter generously with dried cherries and / or cranberries, ensuring the fruit also shows against the glass. Add a layer of the crème patissière and sprinkle this with toasted almonds. Repeat the process until the bowl / vase is filled to within 2cm of the top.

Just a note on the liquor: you need to use something that will sweeten the trifle with alcohol but not overwhelm the taste of the pernod in the Food Symphony sauce. The two liquors need to marry, of sorts. A bit of trial-and-error may be needed here, plus a good supply of panadol and a comfy bed to recover between tasting attempts to see if the marriage is going to work.

To the top layer add double whipped cream and decorate with dried cherries and more toasted almonds. Cover with plastic wrap sitting up from the top layer on toothpicks and leave in the fridge for a day or two to allow the rhubarb sauce and sherry or muscat to be absorbed. Serve by the large spoonful.

Note: if you want to buy custard, great. Instead of bought custard, try a good natural or custard yoghurt for a zip of tang.

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