Banana Cream Trifle

I love Thanksgiving week. There is an excitement in the air as we anticipate the upcoming feast. I have been hosting Thanksgiving for about 18 years. At first it was stressful, but as time has gone on I have developed a routine that works for me. I clean out the pantry in October and make a list of non-perishables to replace. I shop the sales to restock baking essentials. I am always looking for new and interesting side dishes to add to the menu, too. I make the cranberry orange relish several weeks ahead and freeze it. The weekend before Thanksgiving I finish most of the shopping. We clean the house on Saturday and my husband tucks in the yard for the winter, bringing in the last of the beets, carrots, leeks, and cardoons. He also gathers enough firewood for a roaring Thanksgiving evening fire. Sunday we begin decorating the family room for Christmas. Monday I set the table and my husband and son make the turkey brine. Tuesday, the men brine the whole turkey and few extra wings (since that is my husband’s favorite cut).  I make the stock for the porcini mushroom gravy, take the cranberry relish out of the freezer along with the Italian sausage for the stuffing. I also bake the pumpkin mascarpone cake roll.  Wednesday, flowers are purchased for the tables and any last minute perishables. The night before Thanksgiving the kitchen is buzzing with activity. I make roll dough and refrigerate it overnight. My husband and I bake the pies together; this year the flavors are coconut custard, chocolate mousse, and sour cherry. My mom and sister are making the apple crisp and pecan pie. The extended family helps with side dishes of sweet potato soufflé, potato gratin, and peas with mushrooms. Thanksgiving morning we bake off the rolls, roast the turkey, and assemble the antipasto and salad. The stuffing and gravy are last. I know some people make their stuffing ahead of time but I prefer it made fresh. After we have consumed our feast, and the leftovers are divided up, we settle in front of the fire with a movie. My husband roasts the chestnuts in the fire. Then we set up the dessert table with the pies, cake, spumoni ice cream, roasted chestnuts, mixed nuts, and some fruit. It is wonderful and I am so grateful for my family and the blessings we enjoy.

Just one last dessert recipe to share: this delicious Banana Cream Trifle. It is an easy recipe if you are hosting the holiday or taking a dessert elsewhere. Prepare it the day before you intend to serve it. Make the custard, then layer ladyfingers with bananas and top with whipped cream. If you love banana cream pie, use the custard recipe and layer with bananas in 2 pre-baked pie shells. Happy Thanksgiving!

Banana Cream Trifle
Vanilla Custard
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup vanilla granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
pinch of kosher salt
2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch

Remaining Ingredients
36 ladyfingers or Savoiardi
5 large bananas
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar

For the custard: in a 4-quart pot combine milk, cream, and vanilla sugar. Scrape the vanilla bean and add both seeds and pod to the milk. Add butter and salt. Whisk until well combined. Turn the heat to medium and let heat, whisking often until mixture is hot but not boiling. While milk is heating, whisk together whole eggs and yolks in a bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Once milk is hot, remove one cup and slowly whisk into the egg mixture. Whisk egg mixture back into the hot milk on the stove. Whisking constantly, let custard cook until it is thickened and smooth. It should take about 5 minutes. Remove custard from heat and let cool 5 minutes.

To assemble the trifle: Crush 12 ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8-cup bowl. Cover crushed cookies with 2 cups of the custard. Slice 1-1/2 bananas and layer slices over custard. Repeat with crushed cookies, custard, and bananas two more times. Beat the cream with confectioners sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over trifle. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Serves 8-10.


This entry was posted in Christmas, Custards, Desserts, Easter, Fruit, Thanksgiving. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Banana Cream Trifle

  1. Zina Woods says:

    Dear Judy: My favorite part of all this was your paragraph describing your “doings” in making Thanksgiving “happen.” I hope to make your chocolate mousse and cranberry relish. Wish I had your stamina! Thanks for sharing. Love, Zina

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