So, the lemon trifle voted Most Delicious Pudding at Louis’ birthday and my family’s Christmas gathering came from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries, a recipe book I often dip into for a read but rarely cook from. I don’t think I’ve eaten a proper trifle before (unless you count Kath’s bizarre creation last Christmas that included LIME jelly – of all things – icky) so it looks as though I never will… I shall remain faithful to this one because it is SO. DAMN. GOOD.
You can make your own sponge cake and lemon curd: I made the lemon curd a while back, but purchased some sponge from the supermarket in a moment of practicality because there really was no time to bake a sponge for the party and I knew that I would go crazy if I tried to fit it in. Also my kitchen whizzy-wotsit doesn’t like being continuously on for 10 minutes at a stretch (nor does my thumb pressing the on switch for that long). Things may change because… tada!… I was given a flash new hand mixer for Christmas. All those hints I dropped about why I didn’t make the sponge landed on the right ears (my dad’s). Might I just add that I love my dad’s new hearing aids.
Nigel Slater’s Lemon Curd, with omissions and additions
100g sponge cake
100g lemon curd
3 Tbsp Limoncello
120g caster sugar
100ml lemon juice
zest of one orange (or lemon)
and as Nigel says, ‘I regard the sugary crunch of chrystalised violets on top as essential’ – we did not have any and we lived to tell the tale.
Slice the sponge cake into 1cm thick slices and spread thickly with lemon curd. Arrange in the bottom of a large glass bowl and sprinkle the Limoncello over the sponge.
In a heavy bottomed pot, bring the 500ml cream and sugar to the boil over a moderate heat, then turn it down and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and then pour over the sponge. The sponge will probably start to float, but it doesn’t matter. When the mixture has cooled, refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
When the custard had set I spread some lemon curd over the top of it (Nigel didn’t say anything about doing that, but he also didn’t tell me not to). Whip the 250ml of cream and spread it loosely over the trifle. Sprinkle the zest (and chrystalised violets) over the cream, and return to the fridge until you are ready to serve it.