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With its creamy custard base, raspberry jam swirl, and bits of sherry soaked cake, this English Trifle Ice Cream is a nod to our Auntie Ev’s English trifle, but in ice cream form.
Don’t miss my round up of all my ice cream recipes.
Our family lost our Auntie Ev four years ago. While we miss her every day, she is always in our hearts, and we know we can bring her spirit even closer by making the foods that were her signatures. Lemon pound cake. Plum pudding. Angel slices. Trifle.
Oh, how I love Auntie Ev’s trifle. I even served it at the restaurant for awhile, and it was a huge hit. While I know that trifle is a dessert whose sole purpose was to get rid of bits of cake and jam and custard and can take many forms, our family’s favorite–the only trifle we have ever made, really–is Auntie Ev’s: layers of lemon pound cake soaked with cream sherry, raspberry jam–with seeds, please, rich vanilla pudding and whipped cream. This is a perfect combination. Rather, it is my perfect combination. You might have other ideas, so when you make your English Trifle Ice Cream, it may be different from mine. But at least you’ll know it’s possible.
I have to admit that I wavered between making pound cake or sponge cake, and pound cake won out, mainly because it was our traditional trifle base. But, I suggest you make a sponge cake. Use a cake with very little fat in it so it doesn’t get really hard in the freezer. In the recipe, I’m sharing the sponge cake version, but if you are feeling pound cake-ish and don’t mind frozen butter, by all means, make a pound cake.
As with all the Ice Cream Tuesdays, you certainly don’t have to make all the components. As a matter of fact, the custard base can stand alone as a rich French Vanilla ice cream, just waiting for you to douse it with hot fudge or strawberry sauce or roasted bananas or whatever sounds good to you. It’s really just my scalable vanilla pudding recipe made with slightly more fat (a mixture of half and half and whole milk rather than just whole milk), a touch more sugar and half the starch. It churns beautifully into a rich, creamy, wonderful ice cream all on its own.
Oh, I have also made a video for you! It’s only a couple of minutes long, and it outlines the procedure for making this ice cream. Watch it for a great tip about churning as well as for a cameo appearance by Sam the cat. And if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel yet, I hope that you will now.
And now, onto the English Trifle Ice Cream.
For the Custard
- 16 oz (2 cups) half and half
- 16 oz (2 cups) whole milk
- 10 oz (by weight, about 1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla paste, (or toss a whole split and scraped vanilla bean in the pot right along with everything else)
For the Cake
- about 2 cups diced cake, , slightly stale (lemon sponge cake or pound cake, for example)
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) cream sherry
- 1/2 oz (1 Tablespoon) corn syrup
For the Raspberry Jam
- 10 oz frozen raspberries, (I used an organic brand)
- 8 oz (by weight, a slightly generous cup) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons cream sherry
- pinch of kosher salt
For the Custard
- Combine all the ingredients except for the vanilla in a large sauce pan.
- Put the vanilla in a large metal bow or pot, and have a fine mesh strainer handy. Set aside.
- Whisk the custard ingredients constantly over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. It may foam up quite a bit, so watch your heat.
- Let boil for about 10 seconds to thicken and cook off the starch taste, and then strain through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the vanilla in it.
- Chill in an ice bath until 39-40F, about 40 minutes. (If you don't want to churn the same day, chill until at least cool and then refrigerate overnight.)
- Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
For the Cake
- Heat the sherry and the corn syrup together to dissolve the syrup. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Drizzle the sherry evenly over the diced cake, and then put the cake in the freezer until you need it.
For the Jam
- Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then simmer on low heat, stirring frequently, until "jammy." To test it, grab some of the jam with your spatula. Hold it up and let it run back into the pan. When the jam runs off the spatula in sheets rather than individual drips and drops, you will know you're done. This will take about 30 minutes or so.
- Cool completely.
To Assemble the ice cream.
- Loosen up the jam by stirring in 2 Tablespoons of cream sherry.
- Fold the frozen cake pieces into your freshly churned custard base.
- Layer in jam and custard, beginning with jam and ending with custard. I did 3 additions of each.
- Swirl a knife up and down through the layers, press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and freeze for at least 4 hours, although 6-8 is better, at least in my freezer.
As I said before, don’t limit yourself to the components I used. Switch up the jam flavor, and if you have an excellent store-bought jam, by all means use it. While I am admittedly biased about what makes a perfect trifle, you might have your own ideas. Put them into practice and make your own version of English Trifle Ice Cream!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Enjoy the ice cream, and if you have any flavor requests, let me know.
Have a lovely day.