Vanilla Cream-Fruitcake Trifle
- For the Vanilla Cream, in a large bowl whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch. In a medium saucepan heat the milk until hot. Slowly whisk some of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return all to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, just until mixture comes to boiling. If the milk mixture becomes lumpy, whisk until smooth. Immediately transfer to a large bowl; stir in vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly over surface. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- For the Candied Pecans, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger until smooth. Stir in the pecans until well coated. Spread nuts in a single layer in a greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then bake another 15 minutes, stirring frequently until dry. Cool. Set aside.
- For the Rum-Soaked Fruit, in a bowl stir the rum into 1/2 cup boiling water. Add raisins, dried apricots, and dried cranberries. Let stand for 30 minutes. Remove fruit from liquid with a slotted spoon. Refrigerate until ready to assemble trifle.
- For Molasses-Cinnamon Cream, in a medium-size chilled mixing bowl combine whipping cream, powdered sugar, molasses, and cinnamon. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to assemble trifle.
- LAYER 1 Pour Vanilla Cream into a clear glass cookie jar with straight sides, a trifle bowl, or other container.
- LAYER 2 Top cream with the Rum-Soaked Fruit.
- LAYER 3 Stand fruitcake slices on fruit layer, cutting slices in half, if necessary, to fit.
- LAYER 4 Top cake with Molasses-Cinnamon Cream.
- LAYER 5 Sprinkle cream with about 1/3 cup of the pecans and, if desired, halved candied cherries.
From the Test Kitchen
Use remaining pecans as a snack or atop ice cream or a fruit desserts.