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"Traditional Christmas Dessert"

December 19, 2018 - Norman Bentley

I have given my readers two presents already for Christmas. There was the list of Norm's Winners and the list of Wines and Foods, and now the third present is a recipe from Miss Mary's Kitchen for the best traditional Christmas Dessert you have ever had.


Many years ago, Norm had a partner in his wine business who was originally from England. During the course of the relationship, we also came to know Andrew’s parents. They were truly unique people, and it was a pleasure to know them. When I raved about the dessert at the end of a shared holiday meal, Anne offered me a recipe for English Trifle. It has come to be a Christmas favorite for us.

If I stop for a moment, I can still hear Anne describing the preparation of this dish in her wonderful British accent. She had "Americanized" her recipe over the years of living here, but there were certain standards she held to. Of particular note was the usage of Bird's Custard Powder, an English vanilla pudding mix that Anne swore by. When I left that night, she gave me a box of this pudding mix so I could try it for myself. Today, I search to find a container of Bird's each time I make the trifle because it does add a distinctive flavor just as Anne described! A caution in making the dish is to not use pineapple, fresh or canned, in the choice of fruit because it will not allow the gelatin to set up properly.

I hope this becomes a tradition at your house!


1 pound cake (I use Sara Lee frozen) sherry (not cooking sherry) 16 oz. canned fruit (no pineapple)

1 small pkg. flavored gelatin (I use cherry) 1 Birds' Custard Powder box 1/2 pt. whipping cream, whipped

Remove crust from the pound cake and cut into 2" cubes. Make a layer of cubes in the bottom of a trifle bowl (or large glass bowl). Sprinkle sherry liberally over cake, allow to soak in. Drain fruit, saving juice. Pour fruit over cake.

Prepare gelatin using juice from fruit as liquid (add water if not enough). Pour the mixture over the cake and fruit. Cover with plastic wrap, put in the refrigerator to set (overnight if preferred).

Prepare the custard powder according to directions, allow to cool. Pour over all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, return to the refrigerator for several hours to set. At serving time, top with whipped cream.



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WINE – God’s Proof of his Love for Humanity


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