I like the combination of sweet preserves and salty pistachios. It just takes this dessert to that next level of deliciousness. Try it and you will see :)
1 package lady fingers
1 jar sour cherry preserves
1 cup chopped, roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
2 cups simple syrup, recipe follows
2 cups whipped cream, recipe follows
1 recipe vanilla pudding, recipe follows
Simple Syrup Recipe:
3 cups of water
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar and stir. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar completely dissolves. Let it cool and stir in one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a pot and cook over medium heat while stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil slowly while stirring it constantly. (Do not leave this alone or the starch will fall to the bottom and cause it to burn!!!) The mixture will thicken and will be ready when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks about 3-4 minutes until frothy. Add one cup of the hot pudding mixture to the yolks while whisking to temper them. This brings their temperature up and prevents them from turning into scrambled eggs when adding them to the pudding mixture. Nobody likes scrambled eggs in their pudding! So please do not skip this step :)
Pour the egg mixture into the hot milk mixture in the pot and return to the heat. Cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until thick and creamy. Turn the heat off and add vanilla extract and butter and mix well.
You can strain this mixture at this point through a sieve to get out anything not creamy ;) Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming (even though that's my favorite part). Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
Whipped Cream Recipe:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Chill your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer 1/2 hour before using. Also make sure that your ingredients are very cold. This will allow the cream to whip up faster.
Place all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Begin whisking on low speed, so that you don't get sprayed with it :) Whisk it on high speed about 4 minutes or until the mixture thickens and forms soft peaks.
Now, it's time to assemble the trifle. You can make this is a large trifle bowl or in individual mini trifle glasses. If you do not have mini trifle glasses, use wine glasses or any nice glasses that you have.
Pour the simple syrup in a bowl and add a little of the cherry preserves or their liquid to it. If you add some preserves, crush them with your fingers. This will add cherry flavor to your simple syrup. Dip the lady fingers one at a time in the syrup and turn them quickly to coat both sides. Do not let them get soggy.
Place the soaked lady fingers in the bottom of your trifle bowl. Top with pudding, then cherry preserves and crushed pistachios. Repeat this step until your bowl is full ending with pudding on top.
Pipe the whipped cream around the bowl using either a pastry bag with a large star tip or just a clean, plastic bag with the tip cut. Arrange some more cherry preserves in the center and garnish with pistachios.
Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Serve!