Trifle is not the prettiest dessert in an individual serving, but after the first taste, no one complains. Trifle is, however, a great way to use berries and other summer fruits to feed a crowd.
It can also be made ahead and is easy to serve. I have a glass bowl for the trifle that I bought at World Market. It's nice to be able to see the layers, but not necessary.
As always, the gluten-free flours and Xanthan gum can be found at DuBois Health Foods in Carson City.
As early as two days ahead, make:
Lemon Cream (adapted from Tartine)
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (but first, grate 1 tablespoon of the rind for the cake, below)
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3⁄4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
Put about 2 inches water in the bottom of a double boiler and bring the water to a simmer. In the top of the double boiler, combine the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. Whisk the ingredients together over the boiling water, in a constant motion. In about 10 to 12 minutes, the mixture will thicken considerably and should be around 180 degrees F.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly away from the heat. Whisk in the pieces of butter, one at a time, until all the butter is melted in. The cream will be pale yellow and quite thick. If using immediately, allow the cream to cool completely; a few hours in the refrigerator, tightly covered, would be good. If saving for later use, cover tightly and place the lemon cream in the refrigerator until needed.
A day ahead, make:
Perfect Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a tube or bundt pan.
3 sticks of butter, softened but not melted
21⁄2 cups sugar
11⁄4 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup potato starch, and 3⁄4 cup tapioca flour, blended together with:
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1 cup milk or nut milk
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in, or mix in, the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the lemon zest. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour or more, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a rack to cool. When the cake is cool, cover it tightly until ready to assemble the trifle.
2 quarts berries, washed and drained - put a few aside for decorating
2 pints heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla,divided.
In a large mixing bowl, whip one of the pints of heavy cream and add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. When the cream is quite stiff, fold in half of the lemon cream until it is blended together.
Plan for four layers. Layer the bottom of a large bowl with thin slices of the pound cake. Add 2 cups of berries and top with half of the whipped cream/lemon cream mixture. Repeat. Whip the second pint of whipping cream as you did the first one, and fold in the remaining lemon cream. Repeat the layering process twice more, but save out some of the berries for decorating the top.
Chill the trifle, tightly covered, for up to four hours before serving.
I served 30 very polite adults with this recipe. It may serve only 20-25 less polite people - but you probably wouldn't invite those folks anyway.
• The next meeting of the gluten-free discussion group in Carson City is Sept. 12. E-mail me if you'd like more information. Also, Dr. Hong Gao of GI Consultants will give a talk about celiac disease on Aug. 23 through the Carson Tahoe Women's Health Institute at 1470 Medical Parkway, Suite 250. No time was posted for the lecture, so please call (775) 445-5168 for more information.
Enjoy the beautifulsummer!
• Susan Hart has been cooking gluten-free for 15 years. She teaches continuing education classes in gluten-free baking at Truckee Meadows Community College and can be reached at email@example.com.