So, every year our friends host a Super Bowl party (yes, I watch the game but once again neither of the teams playing were the one I cared about) and usually it is a Top Chef-style party. Not this year. This year it was all about smoked meat and delicious sides and desserts and no Top Chef-fing. I brought 2 desserts: lemon cheesecake (recipe to be posted later) and lemon cherry trifle. The trifle could not be easier.
1 box lemon cake mix, baked according to pkg directions (yes, I cheated and used a box mix)
2 C whipped cream, beaten to soft peaks and stabilized with a bit of sifted powdered sugar
1 jar Morello cherries from TJ's, drained
1 recipe lemon curd from King Arthur Flour (recipe to follow) or 2 C of your favorite recipe
For the cake, you can either cut it into 1" cubes or do like me and squish it up with your fingers. This is why I used a box mix--why should I bake from scratch just to destroy it? Anyway, place half of the cake into the bottom of the trifle bowl and top with half the curd. Top the curd with half the whipped cream and place half the cherries on top being sure to get some close to the edge as to be visible thru the trifle bowl. Repeat with remaining ingredients and garnish top with remaining cherries. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for up to 2 hrs before serving. Delish.
For the curd, KAF just posted a rather timely and awesome microwave version. Here goes:
1 C freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 C sugar
1 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/4 C cream, optional
In an 8 C bowl, place all ingredients except cream and whisk together. For more lemon flavor add 1 T of grated zest. For even more lemon flavor, place zest and sugar in a food processor and whiz about until sugar is yellow and the zest has all but disappeared. My work bowl was dirty so I didn't bother but also I liked how the tiny flecks of zest looked in the curd. Microwave lemon mixture 1 minute at a time stirring between each 1 minute increment; this may take 4-10 min depending on your microwave. Cook until curd coats the back of a spoon and begins to mound in the middle of your work bowl. Add cream if desired and stir one last time then refrigerate until firm. The cream is unnecessary but was a recommendation from Cooks Illus. and it mellows the curd just a smidge and makes it taste even more delicious. Will keep in the fridge for 2 wks. Except that you will use it all for this recipe and then you'll find yourself running your finger around the edge of the bowl to get any remnants because it tastes so darned good. I love you, KAF.