Irish Desserto'connor family trifle

O'Connor Family Trifle
(Serves 8-10)

This trifle, traditionally served at Christmas, is not the elegant trifle of cookbooks, but a home-style recipe developed by the mother of a large and hungry brood. She makes 2 trifles during the holidays, one with sherry and almonds for the adults, and one minus these ingredients for the children.

2 packages soft ladyfingers
Dry sherry (for grown-ups)
1 regular package red Jello (Raspberry, cherry or strawberry)
1 large tin sliced peaches
1 large package vanilla pudding (not instant)
2 C milk
2 bananas, sliced
8 oz heavy cream (whipped)
Thinly sliced toasted almonds (optional)

Shell: line sides and bottom of a medium glass bowl with ladyfingers. They won't cover completely, but not to worry. If using sherry, sprinkle ladyfingers to taste, usually about 2-3 T. Make Jello as package directs, and pour onto ladyfingers, making sure to cover all the fingers. When at room temperature, cover and refrigerate.

Pudding: in the meantime, prepare cooked pudding according to directions, using 1 1/2 C milk instead of 2 C. When thickened, and while still hot, cover with waxed paper to keep top from developing a crust. Cool to room temperature.

Assembly: when pudding is cool, drain peaches and layer on top of trifle. Then pour pudding over peaches, and again refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Serving: Just before serving, slice bananas on top and cover with whipped cream. If using toasted almonds, sprinkle them over top before serving.

| See more Irish recipes |


Tips & Glossary

A special note about these recipes: they came from my friend Nan who lived in Ireland for several years. She married an Irishman, and the two returned to the US with their then-young family. These recipes are some of the family standbys. Nan is both a discerning reader and a wonderful cook.

Irish cooking is quite familiar to many Americans, and so you won't find surprises in the ingredient or spice lists. You probably have much of what's called for in your pantry—or else it's readily available in any grocery store.

Root vegetables are a staple of the Irish: potatoes, carrots, and parsnips are particular favorites. In Ireland, vegetables are served simply, but with lots of butter.

Meats are subjected to the slow-cook method. That's because, historically, the Irish used less-expensive, tougher cuts of meat. Our Irish Lamb Stew, for instance, actually calls for meat from the lamb's neck, not exactly the most tender cut of meat.


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