Late Summer Trifle

September  6, 2013

Every other Friday, we'll be sharing dessert projects that demand a little extra time and effort. Because weekends are the sweetest part of the week.

Today: Yossy shares a trifle that sets late summer's fruit on a sweet, creamy pedestal.

Late Summer Trifle on Food52

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Kids may be back in school and summer's unofficial end may have passed, but I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye when there is so much delicious summer fruit left to eat. So I roasted some late summer treats like plums and figs until they were caramelized and juicy, and turned them into an elegant trifle: layered with squares of rich almond pound cake, plus pastry cream lightened with a bit of crème fraîche and a healthy dose of whipped cream.

More: Another sweet way to celebrate the end of summer? Ice cream cake.

Late Summer Trifle on Food52

For the best results, use a mix of thin-skinned late summer fruit. I found tart plums with sweet nectarines and figs to be a nice combination, but use whatever is available where you live. I imagine apricots and cherries would be nice additions to this impressive summer send-off in dessert form. 

Late Summer Trifle

Serves 10 to 12

For the Almond Pound Cake

12 tablespoons high quality butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

For the Vanilla Cream and Roasted Fruit

2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
3 eggs
3/4 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch salt
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups assorted late summer fruit
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 strips lemon zest, peeled with a veggie peeler
Reserved vanilla bean pod from making the pastry cream
1/4 cup of something boozy such as rum, bourbon, amaretto, frangelico, chambord, or grand marnier

Late Summer Trifle on Food52  Late Summer Trifle on Food52

Make your Almond Pound Cake, let it cool, and then slice it into 1/2-inch cubes

Late Summer Trifle on Food52

Next, make your vanilla cream and roast your fruit at 375° F until it's soft and juicy. Gather everything together, and assemble your trifles.

Late Summer Trifle on Food52 

Put a thin layer of vanilla cream on the bottom of the trifle dish (or dishes). Add a layer of the cake and brush on a bit of liqueur, followed by spoonfuls of roasted fruit and vanilla cream.    

Late Summer Trifle on Food52  Late Summer Trifle on Food52

Late Summer Trifle on Food52  Late Summer Trifle on Food52

Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used.

Late Summer Trifle on Food52  Late Summer Trifle on Food52

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight before serving. Top with additional unsweetened whipped cream and a slice of fresh fruit if desired. This recipe will make one large trifle or 10 to 12 individual ones, depending on the size of the glasses.

Late Summer Trifle on Food52

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Yossy Arefi

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Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

1 Comment

Dina M. September 6, 2013
hmm. my question is that in the bottom photo, the cake doesn't look like it is soaked with any juices or sauce. is that how it is supposed to be?