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    Heston's mulled cider trifle

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    Heston's mulled cider trifle

    "Give trifle a makeover this Christmas. Layers of spiced custard, macerated citrus and mulled cider jelly make this a trifl e to celebrate - and celebrate with." Heston Blumenthal

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 1 hour, plus cooling, chilling and setting
    • Cooking time: 90 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes, plus cooling, chilling and setting

    Serves: 14 - 16


    For the mulled cider jelly:

    800g Heston from Waitrose spiced mulled cider
    200g vermouth
    100g golden caster sugar
    4 lemons, zest and juice
    32g gelatine leaf

    For the ginger biscuits:

    90g plain flour
    85g ground almonds
    ½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp salt
    1½ tbsp ground ginger
    110g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
    100g golden caster sugar
    40g egg yolks
    35g olive oil

    For the spiced custard:

    200g whole milk
    400g double cream
    1 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground nutmeg
    2 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground allspice
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    200g egg yolks
    110g caster sugar
    2 gelatine leaves, soaked in water

    For the macerated citrus:

    1 grapefruit
    2 lemons
    4 oranges
    1 lime, zest
    1 tbsp caster sugar

    For the Chantilly cream:

    3 vanilla pods, seeds (discard the pods)
    2 x 600ml tub double cream
    6 tbsp icing sugar

    For the candied citrus zest:

    30g citrus peel, cut into small triangles
    125g golden caster sugar
    30g honey
    Lime zest, to decorate



    1. Combine the cider, vermouth and sugar in a saucepan. Allow to come to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved; remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Then add the lemon zest, juice and gelatine. Allow the gelatine to soften in the mixture for about 20 minutes. Put the pan back over a medium heat and warm the liquid until the gelatine is fully melted; leave aside to set.

    2. For the biscuits, sift the flour, almonds, baking powder, salt and ground ginger into a bowl; set aside. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients.

    3. Continue to mix gently until you have a crumbly texture. Combine the egg and olive oil, then add gradually, mixing well until all the liquid has been incorporated. Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap in cling film; chill for at least 2 hours.

    4. Put the dough between 2 pieces of baking parchment and roll out to 0.5cm thick, place on a tray and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.

    5. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Remove the tray from the freezer and cut out stars using a 7cm star cutter. Transfer the biscuits, well-spaced out, to a parchment-lined tray and bake for 15-20 minutes

    (bake any leftover scraps on a separate tray to crumble and use as garnish). Remove from the oven, leave to stand for 2 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

    6. For the custard, heat the milk, cream and ground spices in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula to ensure it does not stick to the base or boil over; remove from the heat.

    7. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar, whisk in some of the warmed cream to temper. Slowly add the rest of the cream mixture while whisking continuously. Return the pan to a medium heat and, using a sugar thermometer, heat to a temperature of 76°C while mixing continuously with a spatula. Hold the mixture at this temperature for 2 minutes.

    8. Stir in the gelatine until fully dissolved, then place the base of the pan in a bowl of iced water to cool quickly. Transfer to an airtight container, cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent a skin from forming, and chill.

    9. For the macerated citrus, peel and segment the grapefruit, lemons and oranges (reserve the peel for later), removing the white pith completely. In a bowl, mix the lime zest and sugar, then combine with the segments, cover the bowl with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

    10. For the chantilly cream, combine the vanilla seeds, cream and icing sugar; whip until firm peaks form. Transfer the cream into a piping bag and chill.

    11. For the candied zest, fill a pan half-full with water and bring to the boil. Put the citrus peel into the boiling water and blanch for 5 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of iced water to cool completely. In a separate saucepan, add the caster sugar, 125g water, honey and blanched citrus zest. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until syrupy; allow to sit in the syrup.

    12. Assemble the trifle in a large, deep, fl at-sided glass trifle dish (about 3 litres). Put the jelly in a piping bag and fill the dish about 2cm up with jelly. Lay the ginger biscuit stars around the inside of the glass, then place in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until lightly set. Next, pipe enough jelly to cover the biscuits. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until the jelly is fully set. Push more biscuits into the jelly.

    13. Put the custard in a pan over a low heat to soften slightly. Once the jelly is set, spoon or pipe the spiced custard on top of the jelly to create a layer about 1.5cm high; chill for another 20 minutes. Next, spoon the macerated citrus on top to create an even layer. Pipe mounds of cream to cover the surface of the fruit segments, then scatter the candied zest over the top. Finely grate over some lime zest, then crumble the leftover baked ginger biscuit mixture on top before serving.

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