Harvest Trifle

It is called “Harvest” due to the fact  that pumpkin is used. I would also be tempted to use it a Christmas. It looks lengthy but is more than delicious. I have been tasting as we go. On Saturday, we will take pictures of the finished product to add to this site.

Pour  yourself a coffee, sit down and read this through. Take a deep breath and say “damn I can do this” and go for it. Not hard to do.

Vanilla Rum Custard

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. rum, or to taste

Whisk the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the milk together in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, egg yolks and salt. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

In a saucepan bring the remaining milk and cream to a simmer. Remove 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture, whisking it vigorously into the yolk mixture until well blended. Gradually whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan.  Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes (to a boil) and then another 30 seconds more. Pour into a clean bowl and add the vanilla and rum, stirring to incorporate well. Cover the surface with plastic to avoid a skin forming. Let cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator. (can be made 2 days ahead). You are not done yet….

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin

Melt the butter in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook until mixture become a deep amber colour, stirring constantly –   about 8 minutes. Now don’t get scared here. SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, add the cream, whisking as you pour. It will seize up like a newly washed girdle that got stuck in the drye,r but keep whisking. (I kid you not).  It will take up to 5 minutes for the caramel to dissolve and become smooth again. Add the pumpkin and salt and stir until completely blended.

Cover with plastic and when room temperature, place in the refrigerator. Nope..still not done. (Can be done 2 days in advance as well)

Roasted Fruit

  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 large firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fruit  in a large bowl with all the juice, sugar and spices to cover all the pieces. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, spread out the fruit in a single layer. Dot with butter and place in the oven. Every 15 minutes turn the fruit with a spatula for a total of 45 minutes. Really watch the last 15 minutes so the fruit doesn’t burn. Cool the fruit on the pan.

Pound Cake and Gingerbread Cookies

Bake your own, but it can be already made and  packaged – either one is okay

  • 20 gingerbread cookies are needed
  • 6 tbsp. a favourite liqueur (almost anything will do)

Wait until you read the full assembly instructions before doing anything here. This is just a heads up.

You have a choice here. Either make one large trifle or individual servings. In the case of the latter, just divide the ingredients equally in your prettiest dishes.

Line each dessert dish with cake cubes. Crumble the gingersnaps and use half to layer the cake pieces. Drizzle half of the liqueur over this. Drizzle enough of the caramel sauce to cover the cake. Spoon some of the roasted fuit into the dishes

Cover this layer with more cake and cookies, drizzle the remainder of the liqueur over, layer with sauce and add more fruit. You will not use up all the cake and cookies so just set it aside for the moment.

Now, cover all the dishes with plastic and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • sprinkling of gingersnaps

When ready to serve, place a large dollop of whipping cream on top of each dish, add a drizzle more of the caramel sauce and add a sprinkle of gingersnaps. Whew!

There, I told you you to do it. Now, I need a martini…….


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