Thursday, April 19, 2012
In the midst of baby's impending arrival and the drama of trying-to-find-an-apartment-in-Chicago-from-far-away, I'm having a hard time focusing on writing about this recipe. But I wanted to share it with you anyway. Just a few words should suffice. I'll let the picture do the speaking. But I will issue a warning: This wasn't quick or easy to make. It took what seemed like forever whipping custard over a double broiler. Then baking a pound cake. And whipping two separate batches of cream. And after hours of separate stages of chilling, finally assembling everything. I'm not trying to dissuade you from making this trifle. Quite the opposite- it was incredible. And worth every second spent! But just be prepared to dedicate the better part of a morning to its achievement. By the end I had created a masterpiece. A dessert that somehow managed to be sweet and tart and dense yet light and absolutely stunning all in one bite.
Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Strawberries
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced (to equal ~1/2 cup lemon juice)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake:
3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
2 lemons, zested and juiced (~1/4 cup lemon juice)
1 cup sour cream
3 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
1-2 Tbsp. sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are)
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
extra fresh strawberries, for topping
1. To prepare the custard, bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth. Set the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch, and continue to whisk. Keep whisking (often vigorously) until the custard has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow. (It took me about 25 minutes to reach this state.) Do not let boil. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple chunks at a time, until melted. Refrigerate until cold and firm (at least several hours or overnight).
2. To prepare the pound cake, preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 16-cup tube or bundt pan. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice and zest. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the dry ingredients. Mix in the sour cream. Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan 15 minutes until turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
3. To finish the lemon curd, with an electric mixer whip 2 cups cold heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Fold into the lemon curd to lighten it into a mousse.
4. To prepare the strawberry filling, toss strawberries in 1-2 Tbsp. sugar and lemon juice and set aside.
5. To assemble the trifle, line the bottom of a trifle dish with slices of the lemon pound cake. Spoon a layer of lemon curd over the cake, and then a layer of strawberries. Repeat layers until the ingredients are used up. Refrigerate until cold.
6. Just before serving, whip 1/2 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Spread over the top of the trifle and top with extra fresh strawberries.
Makes 1 large trifle with a little pound cake left over for snacking.
(Trifle adapted from Food Network, Pound Cake adapted from Epicurious)