Sunday 22 January 2023

A Wassail Trifle


First layer: Polish gingerbread hearts
I do make things that aren't trifles, although based on my recent blogging output, I can understand if you don't believe me at all. But I saw these lovely Polish iced gingerbread hearts (the brand name is Kopernik) in the Christmas clearance sales and they spoke to me very clearly and said they wanted to be trifle. They are very nice with a cup of tea, too, if you don't want the rest of this hassle. The flavour reminds me a bit of Swiss Basler Läckerli, but not as chewy a texture and no candied fruit.

Once I had settled on trifle, I thought about other flavours. I really liked the layers of citrus in the Jubilee trifle last year, and the citrus is so lovely at this time of year, but I really wasn't feeling that with gingerbread. The answer was obvious. Pears. And then I changed my mind because I had 5 very nice Egremont Russet apples in the fridge. 

Second layer: Brown sugar roasted apples

I roasted the apples with brown sugar and cinnamon according to a Diana Henry recipe - although hers is for unpeeled, uncored, halved apples and I did mine in chunks for ease of eating.

Then a layer of jelly - also based on a Diana Henry recipe - flavoured with a traditionally-made hard cider and Somerset cider brandy.

Once the jelly was set, I added a maple & cinnamon creme diplomat, and when that was set (not, I confess, quite as firmly as I wanted) I topped it with whipped cream, sprinkles, toasted almond flakes and some mini apples preserved in Calvados syrup. Very pretty, very delicious, not too sweet.

As I was putting all the layers together, it occurred to me that it was more-or-less seasonal too. Not because apples are in season now, but because a couple of weeks ago we were supposed to go to a local Iron Age Hillfort for a Wassail. The Wassail hasn't run for a few years because of Covid, but this year it was back on. But the week it was supposed to happen the ground was too soggy and it wasn't safe, so they postponed, then this week it was too cold and the group we were going with were dropping like flies with various illnesses and work commitments. But the combination here of cider, apples and spices is very much in keeping with a Wassail. So hopefully this trifle will be taken as an offering by any deities listening, and help produce a good harvest of apples this year.


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