Tipsy Squire

Published December 1, 2005.

Why this recipe works:

Starting with a classic Southern rendition of trifle called Tipsy Squire, we wanted our recipe for this dessert to taste as good as it looked. For this trifle, we used stale sponge cake, which absorbs liquid without turning mushy. For deep fruit flavor without a watery texture, we used jam,… read more

Starting with a classic Southern rendition of trifle called Tipsy Squire, we wanted our recipe for this dessert to taste as good as it looked. For this trifle, we used stale sponge cake, which absorbs liquid without turning mushy. For deep fruit flavor without a watery texture, we used jam, not fresh fruit. Finally, we topped our Tipsy Squire with small almond macaroons for their bold flavor and crisp texture.

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Serves 10 to 12

The beauty of this trifle is that most of the components can (if not should) be made in advance. Once assembled, Tipsy Squire actually improves after an overnight stay in the fridge. You’ll need a 3-quart trifle dish to make this impressive dessert. Bake shops sell sponge cake in various sizes; just trim larger cakes to suit this recipe. To stale cake rounds, leave them uncovered on the counter overnight or place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven for 3 hours.

Ingredients

  • Easy Custard
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch table salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Trifle
  • 2 (8-inch) round stale sponge cakes (each about 1 1/2 inches thick), homemade or store-bought
  • 1 1/2 cups cream sherry
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 40 small almond macaroons or amaretti cookies, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. For the Custard:

    1. Heat cream, 6 tablespoons sugar, and salt in heavy saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until sugar begins to dissolve. Whisk in cornstarch until mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

    2. When cream mixture reaches full simmer, gradually whisk half into yolk mixture to temper. Return mixture to saucepan, scraping bowl with rubber spatula; return to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface and mixture is thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer mixture to bowl, press plastic wrap directly on surface, and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

    For Trifle:

    1. Slice each cake round in half horizontally. Brush each cut side of one cake with 1/4 cup sherry, then spread with 1/4 cup jam. Stack 2 cut sides together (resulting in jam sandwich). Repeat with second cake to make second jam sandwich. Cut each cake into 5 long slices, then cut 5 more slices crosswise. (Reserve small jam cakes for nibbling; you will need 30 to 40 of the larger jam cakes for step 3.)

    2. Beat cream and 1/4 cup sherry with electric mixer at medium-high speed to soft peaks. Reduce speed to low, gradually add custard, and mix well, about 1 minute. Toss macaroons with remaining 1/4 cup sherry in large bowl.

    3. Arrange 12 to 14 (depending on size) macaroons in single layer to cover bottom of 3-quart trifle bowl. Spoon 2 cups custard mixture evenly over macaroons. Arrange 15 to 20 jam cakes in single layer on custard. Top with 2 cups custard mixture. Repeat layering of cookies, custard mixture, jam cakes, and custard mixture once more. Arrange remaining 12 to 16 macaroons in circle midway between rim of bowl and center of trifle, so that they stick up slightly like a crown. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, pile raspberries inside macaroons.

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