Saturday 4 June 2022

Jubilee Trifle

Trifle - with my trifle spoon - on the buffet. Picture by the party host, my friend Sharon.

This weekend the UK is celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 70 years on the throne. I was trying to remember the last royal occasion where there was an extra Bank Holiday (making a 4 day weekend) and garden parties and so forth, and while I could remember that it rained a lot and I wore a very good t-shirt and made a dessert with lots of berries in a Union Jack pattern, I couldn't remember what it was actually for.

Turns out it was the Diamond Jubilee, 10 years ago. And to be honest, what I said then - that I am conflicted, that a hereditary head of state is obnoxious, that the country is in a very bad way and this feels like a very expensive distraction technique - all still stands.

This time around, Fortnum and Mason ran a competition to find a Platinum Pudding - a dessert to commemorate the occasion, with a recipe that could be made all around the country. The winner was a lemon and amaretto trifle, inspired by the lemon posset the Queen had at her wedding. 

I love a St Clements Trifle - I mean, I love a citrus dessert anyway, and I not only love the way lemon provides sprightliness and orange rounds out the flavour, but I love that in the UK the combination of lemon and orange is named for a nursery rhyme - but I didn't particularly care for the winning recipe. So for the garden party we attended, I took the inspiration and ran with it.

Slices of lemon Swiss roll (bought) around the base and sides of my trifle bowl, left open in the fridge for a couple of hours to dry out a little. 

Then a very small sprinkle of Cointreau. 

Then a lemon and orange jelly (same method as the winning trifle recipe, but less sugar syrup and more fruit juices) with orange supreme suspended in it. I let the jelly start to set before I poured it into the trifle bowl, so that it wouldn't make the cake completely soggy and so the orange supreme wouldn't all sink to the bottom. 

I let that layer set completely while I made the next layer, a lemon and orange creme diplomat, made by cludging together this recipe for lemon pastry cream and this recipe for vanilla creme diplomat.

This is not a dessert to make when you get home late from work. This needs time and many bowls.

After I spread the creme diplomat layer over the set jelly layer, I let the whole thing chill over night.

This morning I scattered shreds of candied calamondin zest over the creme diplomat, and whipped cream, stabilised with cornflour a la Rose Levy Berenbaum's method and flavoured with a little of the syrup from the calamondins.

FINALLY I garnished it with a lot of sprinkles and shards of citrus meringue, made with 2 of the egg whites left over from making the creme diplomat. 

And fortunately it was absolutely delicious and well worth the effort. The layers had just the right balance of stability and tenderness and the layers of citrus flavours were really fresh and bright.

If it isn't vulgarly over-dressed, is it even a trifle?


Suelle said...

This sounds lovely! Well done for making the effort.

The only baking I've done since Christmas was a batch of brownies for the Jubilee weekend meeting with my children. In my defence, I have been kitchen-less for a few weeks, and the house hasn't been fit for guests since mid-February, but I'm not sure I'd have baked much even if I could have done so.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I wouldn't have if Sharon's mother in law hadn't requisitioned her garden for a party! But it was delicious and now I am looking for my next occasion for a really posh trifle.


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