As I explained last year when I shared how I make my cranberry sauce, I marked down the first chapter of Nigella Lawson's Feast as my go-to bible for festive feasting. Along with where I have adapted my cranberry sauce recipe from, and where I get my recipe for Cherry & Clove Glazed Ham in Cherry Coke (which I plan to share my tweaks of next year), it is where I have taken my slightly adulterated New Years Day Trifle from.
There are so many things to love about this trifle for this time of year. Instead of using fresh fruit, it uses re-hydrated apricots in a perfumed, cardamom and citrus infused syrup. Instead of using cake, strips of pandoro or panettone form the sponge element, and the whipped cream is folded in with Greek yogurt which not only lightens it up a bit, but echoes the honey, almonds and pistachios scattered on top.
While being pretty easy, it is a two day affair to produce, so remember to start ahead so the syrup can have the opportunity to properly soak into the pandoro. In other notes, you can make this in whatever glass bowl or dish you have; deep or shallow. That is the great thing about a trifle that only has one cream layer on top. And finally, if you're dishing this up to a gathering that includes younger children, feel free to leave out the booze; the Grand Marnier is my addition anyway, and does not appear in Nigella's original.
Finally, the last thing you need to know is that it will serve 8-10 people happily, and any leftovers you'll need to eat within the next day or two. You'll also have a little bit of pandoro leftover as a chefs perk; perfect to make into French Toast to enjoy for breakfast. You know you want to.
- 700g (1 1/2 lb) Dried Apricots
- 1 1/2 litres (6 cups) Water
- 150g (5 oz) Golden Caster (Granulated) Sugar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Juice of 1/2 Orange
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- 3/4 Pandoro or Panettone
- 5 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 375ml (13 oz) Double Cream
- 375ml (13 oz) Full Fat Greek Yogurt
- 3 tbsp Runny Honey
- 4 tbsp Pistachios
- 4 tbsp Flaked Almonds
First, re-hydrate the apricots. Place them in a large saucepan with the water, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice and the cardamom pods, crushed to release the black seeds. Bring the pan to the boil. Reduce the heat, and allow to simmer for half an hour.
Sieve out the apricots, pick out as many of the cardamom pods and seeds as possible and set aside to cool, and then refrigerate overnight. Return the cooking juice to the pan and set over a very high heat, allowing the liquid to reduce by just over half. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cut the pandoro into strips, and lay them over the bottom of the dish. Lay another layer in the opposite direction, so that the whole bottom of the dish is covered with no gaps. Sprinkle over 2 1/2 tbsp of Grand Marnier, and then follow with 1/2 the apricots. Sprinkle over half of the syrup, then repeat with more of the pandoro, the rest of the Grand Marnier, apricot and syrup. Cover with kitchen wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the trifle from the fridge to bring to room temperature. Gently whip the cream until it only just forms soft peaks, then fold in the yogurt. Spread over the top of the trifle. Chop the pistachios into shards, and add them to a frying pan with the flaked almonds. Place the pan over a medium heat, and toss every few minutes until the almonds are slightly toasted and are going golden. Remove from the heat, and sprinkle over the top of the trifle. Drizzle with honey, and bring to the table whenever you're ready.
I've got another New Years Day lunch recipe ready to share with you this week, if you're still in the planning mode. In other New Years food ideas, in the past I've served up this Baby Spinach, Walnut and Pomegranate Salad and this Asian Butter Bean Salad. I also think my Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate and Pistachio would also be good, and my Easy Chicken Liver Pâté with Winter Slaw would work well if you're serving up courses, rather than family style.