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    Martha Collison's orange & pomegranate trifle

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    Martha Collison's orange & pomegranate trifle

    This is a family sized, celebratory Christmas dessert combining sticky pomegranate syrup with juicy orange and a thick and luxurious orange-infused custard. Press the orange slices against the sides of the glass so you can see them clearly, nestled between the layers
     

    • Vegetarian
    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 50 minutes + chilling
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes

    Serves: 16

    Ingredients

    3 large oranges
    1 Madeira loaf cake, thinly sliced
    50ml Cointreau
    300ml double cream

    FOR THE POMEGRANATE SYRUP
    200g caster sugar
    500ml pomegranate juice
    1 large pomegranate, deseeded
    Juice of ½ lemon

    FOR THE ORANGE CUSTARD
    100g caster sugar
    75g cornflour
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
    Zest of 1 orange
    4 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, plus 2 medium egg yolks
    600ml whole milk
    600ml double cream
    Sliced pistachio kernels and pomegranate seeds, to decorate
     

    Method

    1. Start by making the pomegranate syrup. Combine the caster sugar and pomegranate juice in a large saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam from the top if it appears. After 15 minutes, stir in the pomegranate seeds and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour the syrup into a small bowl and allow to cool completely before using.

    2. To make the custard, whisk together the sugar, cornflour, vanilla, orange zest, eggs and egg yolks in a large jug until smooth. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling.

    3. Gradually pour half the heated milk and cream over the egg mixture, continuously whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan containing the remaining milk and cream and heat gently, stirring until thickened. Whisk the custard until it is thick and creamy, then pour into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill until cool.

    4. To assemble the trifle, use a sharp knife to slice the top and bottom off each orange, then to remove the skin. Thinly slice the orange horizontally to create cross-sections and remove any white pith. Whip the double cream to soft peaks.

    5. Begin layering the trifle by placing a layer of sponge at the bottom of a large glass serving bowl, preferably one with straight sides. Brush the sponge with Cointreau, then arrange half the orange slices around the edges of the glass. Top with a layer of syrup, making sure it peeks through the gaps in the orange, then pour over one-third of the custard. Repeat the process, starting with the sponge and remaining orange slices, until all the custard is used up. Top with a mound of whipped cream and sprinkle over the chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds just before serving.

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    This trifle will keep for 3 days in the fridge, but is best eaten straight away. 

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