Christmas Berry Trifle

Pound cake brushed with port is layered with a berry filling, vanilla custard, and chopped chocolate to make these festive desserts.

Christmas Berry Trifle

by 5  people

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Servings: 10
Prep Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 8 hrs
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  • 1 1/2  cups 
  • 12   ounces 
    fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
  • 6   ounces 
    fresh or frozen (unthawed) raspberries
  • 5   ounces 
    dried cherries
  • 1   tablespoon 
    finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 3   cups 
  • 8   
    large egg yolks
  • 3/4  cup 
  • 1/4  cup 
  • 1   
    vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped from pod
  • 1/4  teaspoon 
  • 1/2  cup 
    ruby port
  • 1/4  cup 
  • 2   
    frozen pound cakes (10-3/4 oz. each), thawed
  • 1  3 1/2 ounce bar 
    bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus shavings for garnish
  • 1   cup 
    heavy cream, beaten to soft peaks with 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Make berry filling:

Stir together the first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan with 1 cup water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 4-1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Chill, loosely covered, until cold, about 4 hours. Filling will thicken as it cools.
Make vanilla custard:

Heat half-and-half in a medium saucepan over moderate heat just until hot (do not boil).
Whisk together yolks, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla seeds, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup hot half-and-half in a slow stream. Whisk egg mixture into remaining half-and-half in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened (do not boil) and custard registers 170 degree F on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Immediately strain through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap and chill until cold and thickened, about 4 hours.
Make port syrup:

Combine port, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Let stand until cooled to room temperature.
To assemble trifle:

Cut each cake horizontally into about 2/3-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of each slice evenly with port syrup and cut each slice crosswise into about 1-3/4-inch squares. Line the bottom of a 3-quart glass trifle or souffle dish with 1/3 of cake, overlapping if necessary. Top with 1/3 of berry mixture, 1/4 of custard, and 1/3 of chopped chocolate. Repeat layering 2 more times. Spoon whipped cream over top and garnish with chocolate shavings. Chill trifle and remaining custard at least 2 hours or overnight. Spoon trifle into bowls and serve with remaining custard on side. Makes 10 servings.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 820, Fat, total (g) 38, chol. (mg) 298, sat. fat (g) 21, carb. (g) 113, fiber (g) 3, pro. (g) 10, sodium (mg) 329, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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