There is a thing I try to do before I fall asleep. As I lay my head on my pillow, I ask myself a question. What was the most beautiful thing about today? Of course some nights, I’m out before I can think of an answer, but I love doing this because it creates an opportunity however brief, to think about the day, and remember the few moments that made it shine. I wish through the years, I would have written them down, for most have slipped now from my mind, but somehow the acknowledging, feels as though they seep down deep, and perhaps, at the end of life, they will play back like a montage with some pretty song in the background. I am embarrassed to say, that a good many of these shining moments will be of me putting a fork in my mouth, tasting something delicious.
This simple dessert would be on the list- a summer berry trifle layered with fresh berries, toasted coconut, lemon pound cake and coconut whipped cream. The combination of fresh berries, lemon, and coconut is divine. Refreshing and not overly sweet, this dessert really highlights this season’s fresh berries, and the whipped coconut milk is an unexpected twist on an old classic –perfect for a light finish to a heavier dinner, like Easter or Mothers Day Brunch.
The word “trifle” comes from the old French term “trufle,” and literally means something whimsical or of little consequence. A proper English trifle is made with real egg custard poured over sponge cake soaked in fruit and sherry and topped with whipped cream. In catering, we borrowed the idea, and often make “mini trifles”, similar to this but served in very tall square shot glasses with a dramatic effect.
The lemon pound cake can be made at home, or purchased at most grocery stores. In a pinch, I’ve used store bought “cake” donuts, or lemon poppy seed muffins, cut into small cubes. The trifles can be made in individual portions using glasses or mason jars, or made into one large trifle, layered in a large, tall sided, clear glass bowl. The pound cake can also be made vegan, for an entirely vegan dessert.
- 2 Cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 Cup fresh blackberries ( or blueberries)
- 1 lemon, orange or lime --zest and juice ( orange is my favorite)
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar
- 4 slices lemon pound cake, ( or poppy seed cake, lady fingers)
- 1 can coconut milk ( full fat- I like Trader Joe's Brand "Coconut Cream")
- ⅛- ¼ Cup sugar
- ⅓ C coconut flakes
- Macerate the berries. In a medium bowl mix strawberries with sugar and a little zest of lemon, lime or orange. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir in 2-3 teaspoons citrus juice, then gently fold in blackberries.
- Cut 4 slices of pound cake into ½ inch cubes. Set aside.
- Scoop out the hardened part of the coconut milk, the hard cream, and place in a med bowl, reserving the liquid for another use. Whisk the coconut cream until smooth using a whisk or fork. If too loose, place in the fridge for a 10 minutes or until ready to use, it will thicken up. Re-whisk.
- Toast coconut flakes on a sheet pan in the oven ( or toaster oven) until golden, about 5-10 minutes. You can also do this on the stove top, in a skillet on low heat, careful not to burn.
- Layer the trifles, in 4 individual glasses, starting with a dollop of coconut cream, a little toasted coconut, lemon pound cake cubes, berries (and a little of the flavorful berry syrup to moisten the pound cake) more coconut cream, toasted coconut, pound cake, and berries. Top with toasted coconut. Can be refrigerated for a couple hours, but let it sit on the counter a few minutes before serving, so the coconut cream softens a bit (it will harden in the fridge).