Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gingerbread and Poached Pears Christmas Trifle

Gingerbread and Poached Pears Christmas Trifle

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a little place where all the kitchen adventures I want to have live.  One of those adventures has always been to make a trifle and have a lovely trifle bowl.  Its kind of an impractical kitchen item (the trifle bowl) but I DO love to entertain and bake so when I stumbled across one that was on clearance for just $8 (I know!!) I could not pass it up :)

So my first trip into making trifle was pure experimentation. And SO fun.  I cruised the internet for ideas and then came up with my own that I feel has a nice Christmasy feel.  I used this as an opportunity to try poaching pears and making syrup (another couple of kitchen adventures that were living back there in my mind). 

Gingerbread and Poached Pears Christmas Trifle
1 box spice cake mix (baked according to directions on the box)
4 pears
2 cups port wine
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsps lemon juice
ground cloves
1 8oz brick neufchatel cheese (or light cream cheese)
3/4 cup icing sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 container cool whip

Bake spice cake and let cool.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.

Meanwhile in a large saucepan bring to a low boil the Port wine, brown sugar, lemon juice and a couple dashes of cinnamon and a dash of ground cloves (or more to taste)

Peel pears, slice in half and de-seed.  Place in saucepan and bring down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20mins turning once.  Remove pears and let cool.  Once they are cool slice pears.

Reserve poaching liquids and return to low boil. Continue at low boil stirring often until liquid reduces by more than half and has a nice syrupy quality.  Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl beat cheese, icing sugar and heavy cream until fluffy.  Set aside.


1)Place half of cake pieces in bottom of trifle bowl (like a jigsaw puzzle) to fill part way.  2)Top with a layer of pear slices.  Drizzle half of pear-wine-syrup reduction over pears.  (this will most likely run down into cake - perfect!)  3)Top pears with half of the creamed sweet cheese fluff and spread it evenly.  4) Top the creamed sweet cheese layer with half the container of cool whip - spread evenly.

Repeat 1-4 saving a few of the poached pear slices for decorating the top. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours before serving.

I drizzled the top of mine with the last tablespoon of syrup and sprinkled the top with a bit more cinnamon and ground cloves.  Pictures to follow :)

1 comment:

dotoner said...

By the way - this is NOT a vegan recipe - but it IS a vegetarian one. Certainly Not low fat or low sugar. Def one to save for special occasions.