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Festive Trifle

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For the Custard
  • 1L milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 60g cornflour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
          For the Poached Pears
  • 6 small pears peeled & cored
  • 1.5L water
  • 500g sugar
  • 100ml white wine
  • 200ml marsala wine
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
To Assemble
  • 1 store bought or home-made Xmas cake
  • Vanilla custard
  • Poached pears
  • Brandy for sprinkling
  • 600ml whipped cream

For the Custard
Bring the milk and vanilla bean to the boil. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour. Pour over the hot milk and then return to the pan. Whisk continuously until thick. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
For the Poached Pears
Heat all the ingredients together in a saucepan except the pears until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears and simmer for about 20minutes until tender. Allow to cool in the liquid.
To Assemble
Cut the cake in 1cm thick stripes and line the base of the trifle bowl. Sprinkle with a little brandy & then slice a layer of pears around the bowl. Top with a layer of custard. Allow to set and then add a layer of cream. Repeat the layers & enjoy a super easy Xmas trifle *You can also use left-over Xmas pudding.          
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