Cranberry Trifle

There is not much I love more than a festive holiday dessert. And as far as festive holiday desserts go, this is one of the best.

Here are my top ten reasons you should make this trifle
1: It tastes fantastic.
2: It looks impressive.
3: It travels well (just keep the trifle dish upright).
4: Many of the components can be made way ahead of time: the cranberry compote can be refrigerated at least a week. The pound cakes can be frozen a good month or so--easier yet, buy frozen pound cakes at your supermarket. And the entire trifle can be assembled the night before.
5: Cranberries are good for you.
6: While all butter pound cakes aren't necessarily good for you, they are oh so tasty.
7: Whipped cream is delicious.
8: Add cream cheese to whipped cream and the deliciousness compounds exponentially.
9: The candied orange zest looks gourmet and adds a wonderful zing.
10: You might as well indulge now. January will be here before you know it.

Cranberry Trifle
from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
2 bags (12 ounces each) cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger (I cheated and used "Christopher Ranch" chopped ginger--find it in the produce section)
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
2 homemade or store-bought all-butter pound cakes (12 ounces each), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices (If using store bought, I recommend Sarah Lee)
Candied Orange Zest, for garnish (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 2 cups granulated sugar, ginger, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium; cook until cranberries begin to burst, 8 to 10 minutes. Let compote cool completely.
Make cream filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and vanilla on high until well combined. With mixer on medium, gradually add heavy cream; continue beating until soft peaks form.
Arrange 1/3 of the cake slices in a 3-quart serving dish. Spoon 1/3 of compote over cake; spread to sides of dish. Dollop 1/3 of cream filling over compote; spread to sides of dish. Repeat twice, ending with cream filling. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Garnish with Candied Orange Zest, if desired.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add zest of one orange (peeled into long strips with a vegetable peeler); simmer, swirling occasionally, until zest is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a plate. Dredge zest in sugar, and thinly slice.


Jacqui said...

Um, YUM. Love cranberry anything. I have this fab chocolate-crust, marscarpone-filled tart with cranberry/ginger topping. I bet you'd love it. Will definitely have to pound the poundcake. :)

Love the white background photo, too. How'd you do that? Very cool.

Oh, and thanks again for the use of the coconut shells. Jeff looked amazing in them.

Erin Gilbert said...


Debra said...

Absolutely gorgeous "Cranberry Trifle". I have made cherry and chocolate truffles many times, but I love how festive this one looks and I am sure it tastes delicious. I am going to try this recipe out. Thank you:)

Morgan@LittleHouseofVeggies said...

Looks Good! Holiday desserts are my favorite!