With the seemingly never-ending holiday parties that come around this time of year, it’s easy to spend way too much money buying gifts for the hosts. Instead of bringing a bottle of fancy wine, make this over-the-top trifle for your next wintery gathering—and every one after that. Whether it’s a holiday evening in December or New Year’s Day brunch, this trifle is completely unfuckwithable.
Start out strong by lining a trifle bowl with cubed pound cake, then cover the cake with a thick layer of nutmeg-kissed eggnog pudding mixed with whipped cream (turns out, eggnog in pudding-form is actually much better than the drink). Follow the pudding with a layer of gingerbread or spiced molasses cookies. Finally, scoop on a few spoonfuls of sweet brandy-soaked cherries. Repeat the layers until you’ve almost reached the top of the bowl. Complete the final layer of the trifle with a pile of whipped cream, a few more brandied cherries, and lots of jelly-candied bacon.
Unfuckwithable Breakfast Trifle
Photo by Kelsey Hansen
¾ cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon table salt
6 large egg yolks
3 ¼ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
6 cups frozen cherries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brandy
3 tablespoons cornstarch
8 thick-cut bacon slices
1/3 cup red currant jelly
4 cups sweetened whipped cream
1 (1-pound) prepared buttermilk or sour cream pound cake, cut into (1 1/2-inch) cubes
24 ounces chewy ginger or molasses cookies, broken into large shards
How to Make It
Prepare the Eggnog Pudding: Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk in yolks; slowly drizzle in milk until smooth, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-high, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to boil, 6 to 7 minutes. Cook until thickened, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in butter, bourbon, if desired, and nutmeg. Spoon custard into a large bowl (you will need space to fold in whipped cream later); cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface of pudding, and chill until cooled, 2 to 3 hours.
Prepare the Brandied Cherries: Place all Brandied Cherries ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until juices have thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
Prepare the Candied Bacon: Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange bacon in a single layer on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through and crispy, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Brush bacon with jelly, and cook about 12 minutes, checking it after 8 to 10 minutes. (Be careful, it can burn easily!) Remove from oven; cool to room temperature.
When pudding has chilled, remove plastic wrap, and whisk pudding vigorously until smooth. Gently fold in 2 cups of the whipped cream.
Assemble the trifle: Arrange half of the pound cake cubes in the bottom of an 8-cup trifle dish. Top with half of the Eggnog Pudding mixture, half of the cookies, and half of the Brandied Cherries. Repeat layers, reserving 6 to 8 cherries. Top final cherry layer with remaining 2 cups whipped cream. Chill trifle 2 to 4 hours to let flavors meld. Break Candied Bacon into shards. Arrange Candied Bacon and reserved Brandied Cherries on top of whipped cream.