Sheila MacRae's Strawberry Trifle
For the cake:
5 eggs, separated
3 tbsps. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon rind
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour sifted with 1/4 tsp. salt
Beat together egg yolks, lemon juice and rind until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add half the sugar.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; gradually add remaining sugar. Pour yolk mixture over beaten whites; fold until blended.
Gradually add flour in about three stages, lightly folding it into egg mixture just enough to blend, but do not beat. Pour into two lightly greased, floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake in preheated 325 degrees F. oven 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Invert on wire cooling racks. Loosen with spatula. Let cool.
For the custard:
1 cup light cream
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Heat cream and milk in top of double boiler until barely warmed. Beat together yolks, sugar and salt until well blended. Add heated milk in a thin, steady stream to eggs. Cook over indirect heat, stirring constantly until custard coats a spoon. Remove from heat and cover to prevent skin from forming.
To assemble the trifle:
1/2 cup medium dry sherry
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1 pint cleaned, hulled strawberries
Split one layer of cake in half; spread each layer with strawberry jam, press back together. Place in bottom of a large crystal bowl. Pour half the sherry over the cake and half the custard. Repeat, using second cake and remaining ingredients.
Chill 2 hours before serving. Whip cream until stiff and flavor with confectioners sugar and vanilla extract. Pile cream lightly over the custard in bowl. Garnish the center with toasted almonds and arrange the strawberries around the outside. Serves 12-14.
Trifle is best when consumed at one sitting. For short cuts, purchase the cake at a good bakery and prepare the custard using pudding mix. (Available at gourmet and specialty shops). Be sure to select a good quality medium dry sherry and ripe sweet strawberries.