Harvest Trifle Recipe

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Despite the number of ingredients and the preparation steps required, this wonderful dessert is not difficult to make and is the perfect way to top off an autumn dinner party.
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  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin pureé - canned or fresh
  • 3 large baking apples - peeled, cored and cut into chunks or slices
  • 3 pears - peeled, cored, cut into chunks or slices
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 ladyfingers - soft
  • 1/3 cup spiced rum, can substitute 2 teaspoons rum extract mixed in with 1/4 cup water
Container:trifle bowl, two large baking sheets, medium saucepan, small saucepan, large and medium bowl
1 hr
1.5 hrs
3 hrs
  • Whisk yolks and 1/2 cup milk in a large bowl.
  • Add sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Whisk until the sugar is dissolved,
  • Meanwhile, bring 1 1/2 cup of milk to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and gradually add the milk into the yolk mixture in the large bowl.
  • Whisk to combine.
  • Return mixture to the saucepan.
  • Cook until it thickens and boils, approximately 5-7 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly or it will stick to the bottom and burn.
  • Transfer to a medium bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of butter, stir to melt.
  • Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface.
  • Place in the refrigerator and chill until cold - approximately 2 hours. This can be made and refrigerated 2 days ahead.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add sugar and cook until the mixture is deep amber in color. At first it will turn into a slush mixture but will then turn amber and thick. This takes approximately 10-15 minutes with constant stirring. The mixture will be grainy.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and add cream.
  • Stir until the sugar mixture dissolves - approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add the pumpkin and stir until heated through.
  • Refrigerate until cold, approximately 2 hours. Can be made and refrigerated two days in advance.
  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Mix apples, pears, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  • Place butter in a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Place dish in the oven and allow the butter to melt.
  • Add fruit to the melted butter and mix to combine.
  • Place in the oven and roast until the fruit is soft and golden, stirring occasionally for approximately 45 minutes to one hour. When finished, allow the fruit to cool.
  • Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Place split ladyfingers, flat side up, on a baking sheet.
  • Brush each with spiced rum.
  • Line the bottom of the trifle dish with ladyfingers, covering the bottom completely, rum side up.
  • Spoon half of the pastry cream into the lined dish, smooth the top.
  • Top the cream with 1/2 of the fruit mixture.
  • Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce.
  • Line the edges of the dish with a second row of ladyfingers, rum side in.
  • Cover the top with a layer of ladyfingers, rum side up.
  • Spoon the remaining fruit over the top of the ladyfingers and then the rest of the pastry cream. Drizzle with another 1/2 cup of caramel sauce.
  • Line the edge with a 3rd row of lady fingers, rum side in.
  • Chill until ready to top with whipped cream and serve.
  • May garnish with thinly sliced pears brushed with lemon juice.
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