Me, I have two. Firstly ham. Nothing says it's Christmas or summer for that matter than opening the fridge door and seeing a whole leg of ham wrapped in a pillow case. Ham for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the season becomes a none stop celebration of pork.
Second, which really became a must have after my years in the England - a Trifle. So much do I love Trifle that a very good friend of mine in the UK, Lucy, would make me a Birthday Trifle each year. My Birthday is just after Christmas so I was generally guaranteed a week of Trifle which suited me just fine. Come to think of it she would also cook me a roast ham - spoilt much?
The ultimate comfort food, the a Traditional English Trifle is the perfect layering of sponge, fruit, jelly, custard and cream. Making can be as easy or as hard as you choose, mainly it is a assembly job, though I do prefer to make the custard from scratch. Here are my steps to making a yummy Trifle:
· Choose your trifle bowl. You want preferably a clear bowl so you can see the layers when finished and ideally a flat base as it makes layering the sponge fingers easier.
· Lay sponge fingers around the base and sides of the bowl, cover about one third up the sides.
· Sprinkle the sponge fingers with booze, traditionalist go for Sherry or Madeira, I’ve been know to use Spiced Rum in my time.
· Cover the sponge layer with fruit. My friend Lucy would use tinned fruit cocktail and use the juice in the Jelly mix. These day I go for frozen mixed berries as it helps set the jelly faster. About a cup of fruit will do it.
· Make one or two packets of jelly as per the manufacturer instructions – I usually go for Raspberry or Port Wine flavors.
· While jelly is setting, get started on custard. I’ve found Delia Smith’s recipe makes a good thick custard and is the easiest to follow. Link here
· Once custard is cooled and jelly is set, pour custard onto jelly layer, place cling film on the surface of the custard to avoid it forming a skin and refrigerate until custard is firm.
· Top with whipped cream, grated chocolate or your favorite fruit.