Patricia has made this little video herself, and it's one of the most charming little stories I have ever been priviledged to see: I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I have.
FAVOURITE TRADITIONS - this is a big subject... and in our house, it was FOOD!
There are several favourite family recipes and although I mentioned this one last year (before I joined the Pink Saturdays) I'm giving it to you again in its entirety as it's so good!
May I present my mother's Lethal Sherry Trifle
Images from Tack-O-Rama
This is a family recipe, but it’s me who worked out how to get a quarter to half a bottle of sherry into it!
This a celebration trifle – I only ever make it at Christmas – and usually start it the day before Christmas Eve, so there’s plenty of time for things to set.
Once it’s done, just leave it in the fridge and whip the cream a couple of hours before you want to serve it (I do mine on Christmas morning) then it will sit happily in the fridge until you want it. It will keep for up to 4 days (although mine usually doesn’t last that long – it’s very more-ish…..). This is party size, by the way.
- LARGE cut glass or Pyrex bowl - minimum 4 pints (2½ litres) capacity
- 2 x packets Jelly or jelly crystals (Jello in the US
- 1 x bottle sweet full cream sherry
- 1 x pack boudoir biscuits or sponge fingers
- 2 x tins fruit (fruit cocktail, strawberries, sliced peaches etc)
- 1 x tin or packet Birds Custard Powder
- 1 x tablespoon sugar (granulated or caster)
- 1 x pint (568 ml) milk (semi-skimmed or full cream)
- 1 x LARGE tub double cream (half pint or even more)
- Glacé cherries, morello cherries or grated chocolate to decorate (optional)
NOTE: If using a precious cut glass bowl, make sure you never put hot ingredients straight into it – or it will crack. Rinse in hot water first, then keep the bowl resting on top of a towel to help absorb temperature changes, and let any hot ingredients (jelly, custard) cool down a little first.
Layer the boudoir biscuits or sponge fingers across the bottom of the bowl. If using Swiss Roll, cut into slices (½ - ¾ inch) and lay on their sides across the bottom of the bowl, and just coming up the sides a little (you can see them through the glass – pretty!)
Take your bottle of sherry, and add by sprinkling over the sponge (if it helps, keep your thumb over the neck of the bottle, so it dribbles out). Alternatively, pour the sherry into a milk jug or similar, and drizzle over the sponge layer. (The idea is to get as much sherry into the sponge as it will absorb, and you want the sherry to completely absorb into the sponge, so pouring half a bottle in at one go is not a good idea, as the sponge might disintegrate. Drizzling it in works best.)
Keep adding the sherry until you have used about one third to one half of the bottle.Meantime, you have opened your tins of fruit and drained the liquid off (RESERVE this liquid – you will use it later). Add the fruit from one tin on top of the sherry/sponge layer (I usually use about a whole tin of strawberries) and leave whilst you make up the first packet of jelly. The strawberries will absorb some of the sherry flavour.
The jelly in the UK comes either in a slab or in crystals (sugar free). Melt in a quarter of a pint of BOILING water, and stir until dissolved. Allow it to cool down and add the reserved liquid from the tin of fruit to make up to HALF a pint ONLY – this strong mix of jelly will be just enough to set all the liquid, sponge and fruit in this first layer. (Any more liquid, and you will end up with soup!). Set aside and allow to cool completely before putting into the fridge.
If you are impatient to get on with the next step, and it isn’t cooling quickly enough (NEVER put hot liquids in the fridge – especially in a cut glass bowl or it will crack) then stand the container in a pan with cold water (and even ice cubes) to bring the temperature down without diluting the liquid further.
Now leave the jelly alone, and put in the fridge until set.
Next step: The second layer of jelly.
First sprinkle the remainder of the fruit over the first layer of sponge etc. Make up the other packet of jelly (again, using only a QUARTER PINT of boiling water) and add the liquid from the tin of fruit (and cold water if necessary) only to the HALF pint level. Allow to cool down a little before pouring into your bowl. Cool for a while longer then put in the fridge to set (overnight if you can).
Adding the custard:
Make up the custard: use 2 heaped tablespoons custard powder, and mix in a bowl with one tablespoon sugar (granulated or caster). Add a little milk from one pint and mix well. Heat the rest of the milk in a saucepan.
When the milk is fairly hot (but not boiling), pour from the saucepan into the bowl with the custard/sugar mix, and stir in. Return the whole lot to the saucepan, put back on the heat and keep stirring until it comes to the boil (it will thicken considerably). Let it boil for up to half a minute, stirring all the time, then remove from the heat to cool.
Whether you like to pour the custard into a jug first, or prefer to let it cool in the pan, put a piece of Clingfilm straight onto the surface of the hot custard and press gently down on top of the custard, working from the middle to the sides. This gets rid of any air bubbles, and prevents a skin from forming. Do this immediately you take the custard off the heat. As soon as it has cooled down enough (say 15 minutes) remove the clingfilm and pour the custard over the trifle. Apply more clingfilm over the top then put in the fridge to set.
And finally, folks:
Take the double cream (at least half a pint – more if you want) and put in half a teaspoon of sugar. This helps it when you are beating it. You don’t want to sweeten (you have enough tastes in there) but you do want it to hold peaks.
Whip with an electric beater, and when it has doubled in volume and holds its peaks, spread carefully over the trifle using a palette knife or fork to make pretty swirls and patterns. Add a little at a time, starting at the centre and working out towards the edges (so you don’t add too much weight at any one spot, and won’t break the surface of the set custard). Add a little grated chocolate, or cherries cut in half, to decorate.
You know this is alcoholic, so don't drive or operate machinery, etc etc.Having said that - hope you enjoy it!
And here are some links to some more family favourites you might enjoy:
And here is a great little video on how to wrap really awkward things - just using a twist of cloth! Amazing, and it works. And the cloth could be a pashmina, length of fabric, tablecloth... a present in itself!
Furoshiki gift wrapping from RecycleNow on Vimeo.
I think it could be a lifesaver if someone arrives unexpectedly and forgot to buy a present.
And finally, please visit Beverly's blog How Sweet the Sound to read the rest of the Pink Saturday posts. This week is going to be so special!
Below, you'll find a history of Advent calendars, and below that some new freebie blog backgrounds, headers etc if you'd like to use them.
Don't forget decorations (including Christmassy backgrounds) stay up till 12th Night (January 6th) so it's still not too late to bling up your blog!