Shopping Cart

$99.00 to free delivery

Christmas Gingerbread Trifle with Poached pears and Spiced Cream

Date: 05-Dec-2018




  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350FGas 4. Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.

  2. Mix the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the margarine in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg, syrup and hot water and mix well with a wooden spoon until combined.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until golden-brown and the top is springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin. Once cool, cut into squares.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.


You could use instant custard from the supermarket if you are in a hurry. However, if you want to do something a little different in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until small bubbles form and steam begins to rise.

In a bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar and cornstarch until just blended. Gradually whisk in half of the hot milk, then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Set over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, about 10 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla paste, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and let cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.


Poached Pears

To poach the pears, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the wine, water, granulated sugar, lemon peel, cloves, star anise and vanilla paste and bring to a boil. Add the pear halves and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the pears are just tender, about 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear halves to a plate. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve and return it to the pan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut the pears into 1/2-inch dice and transfer to a bowl. Pour the syrup over the pears and let cool. When ready to assemble the trifle, remove with pears with a slotted spoon.

About 30 minutes before assembling the trifle, make the whipped cream: In a deep bowl, using a balloon whisk, beat the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.


The Assembly

To assemble the trifle, alternate layers of cake, pastry cream, pears and whipped cream in a large trifle bowl. Repeat until the bowl is filled. If you want individual sized trifles stemless wine glasses are ideal. 

Serves 8 to 10.


For the gingerbread-spice quick bread:

  • Cup Molasses
  • Half cup butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 eggs

For the lemon pastry cream:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the poached pears:

  • 3 cups Riesling
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste
  • 6 pears (Bosc, d’Anjou or Bartlett), peeled, halved, cored and stemmed

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract