I made this a couple of months ago for a dear friend’s baby shower. This baby shower had been the work of many months because I was so excited!. Not “active” work, mind you – just Pinterest-board brainstorming work (on my part – my friends did the real heavy-lifting). I joined forces with the Aunty and then hit up KAR to host the shin-dig. Thanks for opening your beautiful home to us, KAR xoxo!! I then got distracted by the possibility of having to have surgery. But thankfully, I got a reprieve on surgery and was able to party on with my friends. Happily, the baby (a sweet little girl) has arrived safely, to the great joy of us all. And now I’m going to post this custard (so easy! It’s made in the Vitamix) and how to make grain-free trifle.
Actually, I lost the grain-free cake recipe I used, so this will just be instructions on a method, not an actual recipe. (I just tried to Google the original again, but I can’t find it – sorry.) I’ll just tell you my criteria first. PS. This would make a lovely non pumpkin-pie dessert alternative for Thanksgiving.
- High quality ingredients – e.g. pasture-raised eggs, organic grass-fed milk, organic fruit. I was probably more concerned about this than my friend – but in feeding an expectant Mommy with a history of food sensitivity I wasn’t going to take chances. I probably benefited from the quality of ingredients, too. Oh yeah – I verified that my ingredients were “okay” before proceeding.
- Grain Free – Grain free is actually an Ann/Ning thing. My friend can tolerate a little gluten, but I wanted to go grain free for this one anyway.
- Easy to make custard – my adopted Grandma E. used Bird’s custard in her trifle (a favorite)! I didn’t want to use a mix, though, and so I Googled easy custard recipes. There are many simple ones in terms of ingredients, but there is whisking and pouring involved that is beyond my kitchen mobility skills presently, so I wanted to make a custard of my own.
Easy Vitamix Custard
Inspired by Vitamix’s recipe
- 2 eggs
- 2 c whole milk
- 3 Tb arrowroot powder
- 5 dates or ¼ cup of raw honey – I’ve done both; if you don’t like the taste of honey, go for the dates, or the syrupy sweetener of your choice
- splash of vanilla
- small splash of almond extract
Combine everything in your Vitamix and run on the highest setting for 6 minutes. I put a small paper towel under the plastic knob in the rubbery top to aid with catching the foam. It does foam up, so watch it. I don’t know if it was user error, or what, but sometimes I had a tough time keeping the custard from bubbling up over the lid. The first time I made this there was no problem. Then I kept on making it bc it was so good, and I couldn’t keep it in the blender! I generally set the timer for 6 minutes and tried to go for a total time of 6 minutes. Once I failed to close the lid properly (I blame the vision deficit) and had to jump ship. I poured the rest of the custard into a large pyrex and microwaved it. The egg got a little solid, but it was blended nicely still. To make it smooth again I finished it off with the immersion/stick blender and it was fabulous.
Because I am me, I was concerned about the Vitamix’s capacity to heat the custard to an appropriate temperature that would be safe for eating eggs. So I Googled it. The safe temperature we’re looking for is 160 degrees. I used the thermometer and when running the Vitamix for 6 minutes, the custard reached 170+ – I breathed a sigh of relief and poured it to cool into a large measuring cup. Cover the surface with plastic wrap when cool and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
You should have trifle-making in your arsenal of life-skills. I happen to live with the Trifle Ninja, Baker Smurf Mommy, so I was quite confident going in to this. This is what you need to do:
- Timeline: assemble your trifle on the morning of, or just before your event. You don’t want it to get soggy.
- Fruit flavors: I’m assuming you’re using fruit (as opposed to chocolate or pumpkin). Choose your fruits – they can be frozen. I used bags of organic frozen peaches and strawberries (2 small bags each). Defrost and drain by setting in a strainer/colander for a while before assembly.
- Garnish for the top: Don’t use frozen here. Pick some fruit that looks pretty – I chose some plump rasberries.
- Cake: I opted to make a grain-free cake with a large splash of vanilla and a little splash of almond extract. Trifle is a great place to experiment bc the cake gets broken up – prettiness is not a requirement. I just looked up a plain grain free cake, replaced some of the eggs with flax eggs, changed the flavoring, decreased the sugar and used a natural sweetener instead, and doubled it bc I was making a HUGE trifle. You could do the same or just use a mix, or buy some pound cake or sponge cake from the store – you choose!
- Whipped cream – I used a pint of grass-fed heavy cream. Mommy beat it up for me in her KitchenAid. I think she might have added a little vanilla/almond and a touch of honey. This gets mixed with the custard, though, so it takes on the custard’s flavor.
- Assembly: Just layer from the bottom up: fruit, custard cream (a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture), cake, repeat. Top with custard cream and your fresh fruit.