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Author Notes: I love comforting desserts such as bread pudding and rice pudding and English trifle fits right in. For this trifle, I chose autumn, Thanksgiving type flavors by using gingerbread (spiked with a little black pepper) in place of the traditional sponge cake and pumpkin cream in place of the vanilla custard. Toasted pecans and buttery pears round out the flavors. —BlueKaleRoad
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon
- 3/4 cup dark molasses (I used Steen's)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 10 ounces pumpkin butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 Bosc pears, peeled and cut in 3/4 inch dice
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped (reserve 10 or so for garnish)
- To prepare gingerbread: Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 9 inch square cake pan. In a medium sized bowl, cream 8 tablespoons butter with the brown sugar. Beat in molasses and eggs. Sift the flour, salt, soda and spices together. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the hot water. Beat well after each addition. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cake can be prepared a day ahead of assembling the trifle. When cool, cut cake into 1 inch square cubes.
- To prepare the pumpkin cream and whipped cream: In a medium size bowl, whip 2 cups of cream until peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream from bowl and mix with the pumpkin butter in a smaller bowl and set aside. Add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the whipped cream and beat quickly to mix. Set aside.
- To prepare the pears: Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a shallow skillet over medium heat and add the diced pears. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Let pears cook until they are very soft (10-15 minutes depending upon how ripe they are). Turn heat down if they are browning too quickly. Set aside.
- To assemble trifle: In a trifle bowl or 3 quart souffle, place about half the cake cubes in a layer on the bottom (can squish pieces to fit). Cover with a layer of half the pumpkin cream. Add a layer of half the pears and then half of the toasted, chopped pecans. Cover with a layer of whipped cream. Then add remaining cake cubes in a tight layer (may have some leftover to snack on) and repeat with the same layers, ending with whipped cream (may have a little whipped cream leftover, too, to serve with the trifle if desired). Garnish with pecan halves and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. I think it is better served the next day. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert
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