Trifle of Summer Fruit
Chiffon cake (homemade or purchased)
4 cups Berries or sliced fruit
2½ Pastry cream, cold FRUIT PUREE
2 2/3 cups berriesor sliced fruit
½ cup sugar
Chambord, Grand Marnier, Sweet Sherry, White Wine, or Kirsch (optional)
Kitchen Notes: Using fruits that are so ripe that they couldn’t wait another day before they are eaten. If you don’t have a trifle bowl (a straight-sided round bowl, usually on a pedestal) substitute any clear glass bowl.
To make the fruit puree, combine the fruit and sugar in a blender and mix on high speed until very smooth. It is not necessary to strain the puree unless you have used berries with seeds and prefer a puree without seeds. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the spirit to taste (if using), and set aside. You should have about 3 cups (24 fluid ounces/ 750 ml).
Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a whisk, whip the cream until thickened. Add the sugar and whip until the cream holds soft peaks, Set aside.
Split the cake horizontally into 3 layers each ¼ inch to 1/3 inch about 8 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep (or 10 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep). Fill in any gaps with trimmings. Pour 2/3 cup of the fruit puree over the cake. This will appear at first to be an excessive amount, but it will soak into the cake. Top the puree with one-third of the fruit. If using more than one type of fruit, you can mix them or you can use a different fruit for each layer. If you are using sliced fruit, place some of the slices with their cut sides facing outward against the sides of the bowl, so that the slices are visible in cross section. Spoon half of the pastry cream over the fruit. Spoon half of the whipped cream on top, filling in any gaps in the pastry cream. Top with a second cake layer, again trimming as needed. Pour on 1 cup of the fruit puree, top with half of the remaining fruit, all of the remaining pastry cream, and all of the remaining whipped cream. Place your last cake layer on top and gently press down on it. Finish with the rest of the fruit puree and top with the last of the fruit.
Chill the trifle well before serving. It will keep on the refrigerator for up to 1 day.