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Real food trifle (and meringues)

Without having a religion or kids to give Christmas a higher meaning, for me, its all about the food!  Christmas is not complete without good food, with my two favourites being ham and trifle (not mixed together!).  We bought a delicious ham from our local butcher (although not nitrate-free, or organic, will try harder next year!).

This year I volunteered to bring a trifle for Christmas lunch with my parents in law.  But when I thought about my traditional family recipe, I knew I was going to have to be creative, because its not real food!

Traditional recipe for trifle (not real food):
  1. Take one supermarket sponge cake (full of additives, yuck, and even better if you can find one "reduced to clear", as it will already be nice and stale) and break into pieces.
  2. Drizzle with sherry
  3. Make custard from custard powder (not real food) and milk, pour over sponge
  4. Drain a can of peach slices (from goodness knows where) and place slices over the custard
  5. Whip cream and spread over peaches
  6. Chill and serve
Note that the Australian recipe also includes jelly, hello food colouring mixed with sugar!


for example....

My recipe for local, real food trifle:

  1. Bake sponge from farm fresh eggs (whip 3 eggs, beat in 1 cup sugar (I know I said I wasn't eating sugar, but this is Christmas, if I wasn't so nervous about making sponge cake, I'd have used honey), fold in 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder, stir in 50 g melted butter, bake at 190degC for 30 min), don't know why it has to be stale.  Break into pieces.  
  2. Drizzle with alcohol appropriate to fruit in step 4, I used Malibu for a tropical coconut flavour.  I also used some passionfruit pulp in this layer :)


  3. Make custard from farm fresh eggs and milk/cream (beat together 5 egg yolks and 1/4 cup honey, heat 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream in a pot with vanilla (I didn't have vanilla so I used chai spice mix, yum), stir milk into eggs mixture (strain out the chai first), return to pot and stir until thick (don't forget to keep stirring or it will go lumpy!!), pour over sponge.  


  4. Use local fresh fruit - this time of year mango is the obvious option here, but you can use berries, or stone fruit, or could use local canned or frozen (obviously defrosted for eating) fruit if there's nothing else available.                          


  5. Top with fresh whipped cream (WHY is cream in Australia "thickened"???  I struggled to find cream that is just cream, with no extra thickeners (I would have used cream from Bella (our cow), but it would take weeks to get one cup from her at the moment, so I had to buy some)).

I served the layers separately as some people didn't want cream and some didn't want mango, so there are no amazing shots of a beautiful real food trifle, but it tasted great!

The custard recipe came from Nourishing Traditions and the sponge from my trusty Edmonds cook book (unfortunately their custard recipe used Edmonds custard powder, I literally did not know that custard was made any other way until recently, I blame Edmonds for this, what a clever marketing system!  By the way, the ingredients for custard powder are corn flour, colour and flavour, no eggs, that's not food!).



Now if you've been following my instructions you'll see that the custard required 5 egg yolks, so after I'd finished, I had 5 egg whites leftover.....


so of course I made some merringes from all the egg whites, they look pretty,
but I can't eat many,  too sweet!
note that I did all of this with an old hand beater, sore arms for days....


Do you have a favourite Christmas dessert?  Do you convert traditional recipes to real food?




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