Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Raspberry-Almond Trifle!

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert to show your loved one how much you care? Try this amazing raspberry-almond trifle that’s guaranteed to give any dessert-lover weak knees. (And don’t be shy about putting the raspberries and toasted almonds in a heart shape on top.)

From everyone here at Algonquin – Happy Valentine’s Day!

 –Kelly Bowen




3 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup cornstarch
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. brandy or sherry (Note from Kelly: I used sherry cooking wine)
3 large oranges
3 containers (6 oz. each) fresh raspberries
¼ cup honey
2 frozen pound cakes (10.75 oz. each)
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam (Note from Kelly: make sure its seedless!)
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream (Note from Kelly: can use regular, store-bought whipped cream)
5 oz. amaretti cookies, coarsely chopped (2 cups), OPTIONAL
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat milk on medium until bubbles form around the edge. Meanwhile, in large bowl whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and 2/3 cup sugar. Add ¼ cup hot milk to the bowl and whisk well. Repeat until milk is fully incorporated.

2. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook on medium-low 7-9 minutes or until mixture is very thick and registers 160ºF on candy thermometer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tbsp. brandy. If mixture is lumpy, whisk well to remove lumps. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface, refrigerate until cold and stiff. Custard can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

3. With sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from orange, discard. Cut on either side of membrane to remove each segment from orange, place segments in large bowl. (Note from Kelly: save yourself oodles of time by cutting the orange in half and using a grapefruit thingy to get out the orange pulp.) Reserve ½ cup raspberries for garnish. Add honey and remaining raspberries and 2 tbsp. brandy. Fold gently to coat.

4. On cutting board, with long, serrated knife, trim top, bottom, and sides of 1 cake to form even rectangle; place trimmings in a large bowl. Stand cake up on one long, narrow side. Cut lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices. Spread thin layer of jam on half of slices.Sandwichwith remaining slices. Repeat with second cake.

5. Measure height of 4-5 quart straight sided trifle bowl. Trim tops and bottoms of cake slices so cake sandwiches match height of bowl. Add trimmings to those in bowl. Cut cake sandwiches lengthwise into ¼ inch thick strips. Arrange 1 strip upright against side of trifle bowl, gently pressing cut side with jam against glass. Press another strip upright next to it; repeat with remaining strips until side of bowl is covered.

6. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat cream with 2 tbsp. sugar until soft peaks form. (If you aren’t using store-bought whipped cream)

7. Coarsely chop cake trimmings. Into center of trifle bowl, spread even layer of two-thirds of pound cake trimmings, and amaretti, if using. Spoon half of fruit, with its juices, over cake. Spread half of custard over fruit. Repeat layering. Top with whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

8. When ready to serve, garnish with toasted almonds and remaining raspberries.

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