Friday, 8 April 2005

Citrus Trifle

The December 1993 of Good Housekeeping magazine is one of my treasured cache of recipes. It contains 50 tried and tested holiday recipes from its readers all over the US. For me, those are the best kinds - ones that has been created for families. Prized primarily for their deliciousness and taste and not for fancy-schmaltz presentations or whatever else. That's the reason why despite its age I still keep it in my bookshelf among my other well-read, food splattered cookbooks.

I picked this in that magazine for the main reason that it has few ingredients and does not involve the oven. Whenever I bring this dish to parties, it's always sold out especially among kids. The decoration always brings oohs and ahhhs, never fails to impress. It's very easy to do and assemble so don't be intimidated by how good it looks. I have to thank Susan Aliano of Glen Rock, NJ, the reader who contributed this recipe to the Good Housekeeping magazine, for thinking of this marvellous combination of flavours. Enjoy!

Citrus Trifle

2 large lemons
1 large orange
500 g  [2 cups] cream cheese - room temperature
2 cups icing sugar (confectioner's)
2 tsp orange or lemon extract
875 ml  [3 1/2 cups] whipping or double cream
1.5 x 175g  packages sponge finger biscuits (ladyfingers or savoiardi)
about 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
  1. Squeeze lemon juice and strain into a bowl. Grate orange peel and (optional) squeeze juice; set aside in a separate bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, orange extract, lemon juice and grated orange peel until blended.
  3. In another bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula.
  4. [Optional] Brush flat side of the sponge fingers with orange juice.
  5. Line bottom and side of a glass souffle dish or trifle bowl with half the sponge fingers so that the rounded sides are against the side of the bowl.
  6. Spoon the cream cheese filling into it. Level the top flat.
  7. To garnish the top of trifle, put 1 unsliced stawberry on the center of trifle. Remove stems and slice remaining strawberries lengthwise in half. Arrange half the strawberries cut-side down around the edge of the the bowl. Arrange the remaining strawberries cut-side up. Refrigerate trifle at least 2 hours to blend flavours.
  8. Serve with large spoon and scoop serving portions onto dessert plates.
Note: The flavour improves when the filling is allowed to blend overnight. So after step 3 you can put it in the fridge overnight and assemble the trifle the next day.

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