Apricot, Almond & Brandy Trifle

Serves 6 

Apricots are in season for a short window. My best childhood friend’s mum used to make this incredible Apricot and Almond Christmas pudding, that she would serve for us in the lead up to Christmas. She hid coins in our bowls for us to find. Of course she had made a special trip to the mint, just to acquire them. I did manage to get hold of the recipe from her many years ago, which I’ve lovingly made on a few occasions. On seeing apricots at the markets last week, I immediately thought of her pudding and had to buy some. I’ve transformed them into this trifle, with almond, apricots and brandy.  With a hint of cardamon and honey, it adds that spiced warmth that Christmas desserts need.

At first glance, this appears to have many different elements, but they are all very simple and can be made up to three days in advance. The final assembly can be done the day before, making it a perfect Christmas Day dessert. 

Ingredients

Apricot Jelly 

500g fresh apricots, deseeded and chopped into quarters
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
Squeeze lemon juice

Apricot conserve

Reserved Apricots from the jelly
1 cup sugar

Almond, Honey & Cardamom Cake 

4 eggs
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup whole almonds, ground
1/3 cup GF plain flour

Brandy Syrup 

¾ cup brandy
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Almond Praline

1 cup sugar
4 tablespooons water
½ cup whole almonds

To Serve

½ cup Cream, whipped

Method

Apricot Jelly 

  1. Pour the sugar in a large saucepan along with 4 cups water. 
  2. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the mix to the boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and add in the apricots and lemon juice. Allow it to steep for at least 2 hours.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve, reserving the apricots for the apricot conserve.
  5. Pour the liquid back in the saucepan and place on a low heat to warm slightly.
  6. While it is warming, put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water. Separate the leaves and occasionally check to see if they have softened by squeezing, after a few minutes they should be soft and pliable. Remove from the water, gently squeezing out any excess, then place into the warmed liquid in the saucepan.  Stir until thoroughly dissolved.
  7. Evenly divide the mixture between six 250ml glasses, or pour into one large trifle bowl. 
  8. Place in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or until set. 

Apricot Conserve

  1. Place the reserved apricots and sugar in a large saucepan.
  2. Place over high heat and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Boil for a few minutes until it thickens slightly. 
  4. Allow to cool completely. 

Brandy Syrup 

  1. Pour the brandy, sugar and honey in a small saucepan. 
  2. Boil for 5 minutes, until it has thickened to a syrupy texture. 
  3. Allow to cool in the fridge.

Almond, Honey & Cardamom Cake 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 22cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl or kitchenaid, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes until pale and airy. 
  3. Stir through the remainder of the ingredients until evenly combined.
  4. Pour the mix into the prepared cake tin and bake until a skewer comes out clean. 
  5. Allow to cool completely and store in an air tight container in the fridge, until you are ready to use.

Almond Praline

  1. Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan so that the water saturates all the sugar. 
  2. place over s high heat and leaves without stirring for around 8-12 minutes. The mix will come to the boil and start to caramelise.
  3. Once the mixture is a golden caramel, add the almonds, swirling to stir through.
  4. Pour the almond caramel mixture onto the prepared baking tray and allow to cool down and set in the freezer.
  5. Once cold, cover with a sheet of baking paper and use a pestle to break up the praline into small pieces. Some of it should be powdery and some in tiny, bite sized bits. 

To Serve

  1. In each of the glasses, layer each of the elements.
  2. First, cut rounds of the cake and place on top of the jelly. 
  3. Spoon two or three dessert spoonfuls of the brandy syrup over the cake.
  4. Next, spoon on some apricot conserve.
  5. Dollop some whipped cream in each cup.
  6. To finish, sprinkle over some almond praline on each trifle. 
  7. Allow to set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, before serving.