Summer Trifle With Grilled Peaches, Cherries & Boozy Pound Cake From John Kanell

July 27, 2023
1 Ratings
Photo by Food52
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • serves 14 to 16
Author Notes

The first time I had a trifle was at a brunch at the incomparable Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga, California. The magical Canyon moment was made even more so by this bounty of fresh fruit, layered with heaps of whipped cream and perfectly moist pound cake. Ever since, I’ve made it a point to work trifles into my summer dessert rotation. For this peach-and-cherry-filled version, we’re grilling the peaches, which is the secret to giving them a delectable burnt-sugar flavor. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

If your trifle dish is less than 4 quarts, you may have some cake cubes left over. They can be frozen in a freezer container for up to two months for long-term storage. Use them to make a quick dessert by placing a few cubes each in individual serving bowls, topping with fresh fruit or preserves, and serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

Baking the cake with a cake strip around the pan will keep the cake soft on the edges, keeping the trifle moist. If you don’t have cake strips and your cooled cake has crusty edges, just trim them off. You can crumble the trimmings over ice cream for an easy treat.

If you don’t have or want to fire up the grill for the peaches, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook as directed in step 5 until they are dark brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Reprinted from Preppy Kitchen: Recipes for Seasonal Dishes. Copyright © 2022 by John Kanell. —Food52

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Summer Trifle With Grilled Peaches, Cherries & Boozy Pound Cake From John Kanell
  • For the vanilla bean cake:
  • Nonstick baking spray, for the pan
  • 3 1/4 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • For the trifle & assembly:
  • 2 1/4 pounds (about 6) slightly firm peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound (450 grams) sweet cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) Lillet Blanc or other sweet white wine, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 milliliters/from about 1 orange) fresh orange juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (450 grams) whole-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  1. For the vanilla bean cake:
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13-inch cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk in the salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla seeds. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
  1. For the trifle & assembly:
  2. Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium-high, or about 400°F.
  3. Brush the cut sides of the peaches lightly with the melted butter. Grill the peaches cut side down for 5 minutes, or until dark grill marks appear. Transfer peaches to a sheet tray and let cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the cherries with 3 tablespoons of the Lillet Blanc, 3 tablespoons of the orange juice, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside.
  5. Slice the grilled peaches into ½-inch slices and place in a large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the Lillet Blanc, the remaining 3 tablespoons of orange juice, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the cream and the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla and beat just until combined.
  7. Cut the cake into 1-inch cubes. Spread 1 ½ cups of the whipped cream on the bottom of a 3- or 4-quart trifle dish. Tightly pack the cake cubes over the whipped cream in a single layer. Drizzle about ½ cup of the Lillet Blanc over the cake cubes. Layer a little less than half of the peach slices over the cake, drizzling with some of the juices from the bowl. Spoon a little less than half of the cherries over the peaches along with some of the juices from the bowl. Top with half of the remaining whipped cream and repeat the layers, leaving some of the fruit for the top. (You may have some cake cubes leftover.)
  8. Top with the remaining whipped cream and remaining peaches and cherries. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours before serving.

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