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Pumpkin Spice Trifle

La Vie Piquant

La vie piquant—the spicy life!  Everyday is filled with “piquant” moments that are pleasantly stimulation of exciting to the mind.  Whether it is in the form of food, style, design, love, entertaining, or any other inspiring idea or tangible object, “it” should be celebrated!  Here I will be sharing with you simple, beautiful, realistic, doable, and truly re-creatable recipes, entertaining ideas, and home décor pizzazz that will help you interject a little bit of “piquant” into your life – after all, we only live once.  Join me in living la vie piquant!

Pumpkin Spice Trifle

Marc J. Sievers

My Pumpkin Spice Trifle is one of my all-time favorite desserts to make during the holidays!  Filled with the most flavorful Spiced Pound Cake and luxurious Pumpkin Orange Pastry Cream, this trifle will be a fabulous addition to your holiday soirée.  While there a few steps for each component, a majority of them like the pound cake and pastry cream can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.  Then, all you need to do is make some Vanilla Whipped Cream, and then assemble the trifle!

You can also assemble this dessert in individual glass bowls or parfait glasses.  Simply follow the same assembly instructions but for each individual dish.  The dessert can sit out for a couple of hours, making it a perfect seasonal dessert for entertaining.  This is one of those desserts that you and your guests will always remember – and ask for year after year!

This recipe is part of “An Autumnal Feast!  A Collection of Recipes from Watermarc – Art & Appetite”.  Explore the other recipes in this series:

Happy cooking!


Pumpkin Spice Trifle

Ingredients (serves 8)

Pumpkin Orange Pasty Cream

  • Half and Half – 2 cups
  • Egg Yolks – 6 extra-large, at room temperature
  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted, at room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Dark Brown Sugar – ¼ cup, lightly packed
  • Pumpkin Purée – ½ cup (not pie filling)
  • Cinnamon – ½ teaspoon
  • Orange Zest – 1½ tablespoons, finely grated
  • Vanilla – 1½ teaspoons, pure extract
  • Honey – 1½ tablespoon
  • Fine Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon
  • Cornstarch – ¼ cup

Spiced Pound Cake

  • Butter – 2 sticks, unsalted, room temperature, plus more for preparing pans
  • Eggs – 4 extra-large, room temperature
  • Flour – 3 cups, all-purpose, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Baking Powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Baking Soda – ½ teaspoon
  • Kosher Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • Buttermilk – 1 cup, at room temperature
  • Vanilla – 1½ teaspoons, pure extract
  • Honey – ¼ cup
  • Sugar – 2 cups, granulated
  • Golden Raisins – 1 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves – ½ teaspoon
  • Allspice – ½ teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – ½ teaspoon, freshly grated
  • Ginger – ½ teaspoon, dried

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • Heavy Cream – 2 cups, very cold
  • Granulated Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tablespoon, pure extract

Components

  • Fleur de Sel Caramel – 5 tablespoons, store-bought
  • Gingersnap Cookies – 9 ounces, lightly crushed

Directions

Pumpkin Orange Pastry Cream

  1. In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, both sugars, pumpkin purée, cinnamon, orange zest, salt, and cornstarch until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Next, in a medium-sized sauce pan set over medium heat add the milk and heat until just under the simmering point.
  3. Remove from the heat and, very slowly, add the hot milk to the pumpkin mixture in small amounts while whisking constantly.
  4. Return the mixture back to the sauce pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 7 to 9 minutes, until very thick.  Do not be alarmed when the mixture turns lumpy.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.  Whisk vigorously until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  6. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the custard.  Refrigerate until completely cool, or until ready to use - up to 3 days.

Spiced Pound Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter and flour (2) 9x5-inch loaf pans and set aside.  Toss the raisins with 2 tablespoons of flour and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. With the mixer turned to low speed, add the vanilla, honey, and eggs one at a time, allowing each to fully incorporate.  Turn the mixer off.
  4. Next, in a large bowl sift together the remaining flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  5. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.  Then, scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl and fold in the raisins.
  6. Transfer the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Tap the pans on a flat surface to release as many air bubbles as possible.
  7. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Once you have removed the loaves from the oven, allow them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Then, turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the cold cream and whisk on low.
  2. Gradually raise the speed of the mixer from low to high, making sure the cream does not splatter out of the bowl.
  3. Once the cream begins to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla.  Whisk until it forms stiff peaks, or about 1 to 2 minutes.

Assembly

  1. Cut the pound cake into ½-inch thick slices.
  2. Place a layer of cake in the bottom of a 2½ to 3-quart glass serving bowl, cutting the pieces to fit as necessary.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of caramel.  Top with a layer of the pastry cream, then a layer of whipped cream, then sprinkle with crushed gingersnap cookies. 
  3. Repeat the same process 3 more times.  The completed trifle will have 4 glorious layers.

A Helpful Preparation Timeline

  1. First, bake the Spiced Pound Cake - up to 3 days in advance.
  2. Then make the Pumpkin Orange Pastry Cream - up to 3 days in advance
  3. When you are ready to assemble, find your favorite trifle dish, have your store-bought components ready, and then make the Vanilla Whipped Cream. 
  4. Assemble the Pumpkin Spiced Trifle and serve!

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