I made this trifle for Mother's Day, it was delicious! It was the first time that I made pastry cream. I don't know why I have always felt intimidated with pastry cream, It really was fairly easy. Actually, the angel food cake was more of a challenge. I'm always worried that I'm going to underbeat, or overbeat the egg whites.
1 10 inch angel food cake, cut 1 by 1 inch
(I used Barefoot Contessa's, omitting the lemon and glaze )
1 quart fresh strawberries, rinsed and then sliced
(reserve 3 whole strawberries for garnish)
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup whipped cream
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a small stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar, and egg yolks with a wooden spoon. Sift the cornstarch into egg mixture, mixing well. Set aside. In a medium saucepan combine the milk and vanilla on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and slowly add to egg mixture, tempering the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour through a strainer, back into the saucepan, and continue to cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When mixture begins to boil, whisk for another 30 to 60 seconds until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a clean bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool, then refrigerate a few hours until cold. Before assembling trifle, softly whip the 1/2 cup heavy cream, and fold into the cold pastry cream.
To assemble the Trifle:
Rinse and slice the berries and place in a bowl with the powdered sugar. Set aside.
Cut angel food cake 1 x 1 inch pieces. Arrange a layer of cake pieces in the bottom of a trifle or large glass bowl. Spoon half the berries over the cake. Spoon some of the custard over the berries. Repeat layering, ending with the custard. Best if it sits for a couple of hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove trifle from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
1 cup very cold heavy cream
1 to 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
Just before serving the trifle, make the whipped cream:
In a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, beat cream until thickened. Add the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Continue to beat until the cream begins to thicken. Watch the cream carefully. Do not overbeat. Decorate with large dollops of whipped cream, sealing to the edge of the bowl to keep the moisture in the cake. Top with the 3 reserved whole strawberries.