Saffron-poached pear, madeira and ginger trifle
- December 2017
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on time 50 min, plus cooling and overnight chilling
”Pears are good for winter trifles. Like all the best ones, this requires a bit of effort, but it all adds up to extra deliciousness.” – Lucas Hollweg
- 33.9g (18.7g saturates)
- 6.3g protein
- 7.4g (5.4g sugars)
- 3.2g fibre
- 0.1g salt
For the pears
- 6 ripe but firm pears
- Juice 1 lemon
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 good pinches saffron
- 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 2mm slices
For the custard
- 500ml cream
- 60g caster sugar
- ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways (or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste)
- Finely grated zest ½ orange
- Nutmeg for grating
- 4 large free-range egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornflour
For the trifle
- 15-20 sponge fingers
- 8-12 amaretti biscuits (depending on size)
- 150ml madeira or sweet sherry
- 350ml double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- Piece stem ginger in syrup, cut into matchsticks
- Handful toasted flaked almonds
- Pared zest strips from ½ orange
You’ll also need:
- 22cm trifle bowl; baking paper cut into a circle just smaller than the saucepan
- Peel the pears and toss in a bowl with the lemon juice to stop them browning. Put the sugar, saffron, ginger and 1.25 litres water into a pan over a medium-high heat and add the pears. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover with the circle of baking paper and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the pears are easily pierced to the centre with a sharp knife. Add a splash more water is the pears aren’t covered. Leave to cool in the liquid, the halve, core and return to the liquid.
- Meanwhile make the custard. Put the cream in a pan with the sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Grate in nutmeg to taste. Bring to the simmer over a low heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl with the cornflour. When the cream is just simmering, pour a third into the yolk mixture and whisk. Pour back into the pan and stir constantly over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the custard thickens. Strain back into the mixing bowl through a sieve, whisk, then cover with cling film on the surface and leave to cool.
- Line the bottom of the trifle bowl with sponge fingers. Crumble the amaretti over the top. Mix 100ml of the strained pear poaching liquid with 125ml madeira or sherry and sprinkle over the sponge and biscuits – you may not need it all. Press the sponges down gently to make sure they soak up the liquid. Arrange the pears on top so some of their saffron colour is visible at the sides. Pour the custard over then cover and leave in the fridge for 12 hours.
- To serve, whip the cream with 50g sugar and the remaining madeira/sherry until the mixture just holds its shape. Dollop on top of the custard and loosely spread with a spatula to give rolling billows. Sprinkle with the ginger, almonds and orange zest. The trifle is best served right away but will keep in the fridge for a couple of hours.
To remove the pear cores easily and neatly, use a melon baller.
Start the day before you want to serve. Make up to 48 hours ahead to the end
of step 3 (without the cream) and chill, covered. Continue from step 4.
Rate & review
Or, how about...?
Panettone, vin santo berries and zabaglione cream trifle
A master pairing of boozy berries, panettone and creamy zabaglione makes this Christmassy trifle recipe...
Caramelised pineapple and coconut trifle with rum syllabub
A boozy, fruity trifle with coconut custard is the perfect end to an evening. This...