Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Make-ahead tip: You can prepare the cranberry sauce and custard up to three days in advance; cover and chill separately. Then assemble the trifle the day before, and store in the refrigerator.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare the cranberry sauce, combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press the cranberry mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1 2/3 cups cranberry purée, and discard solids. Cover sauce and chill.

Step 2

To prepare the custard, combine 1/4 cup milk and egg in a small bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Place 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and gradually add 1 1/2 cups milk, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook 1 minute, stirring mixture constantly. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Pour into a bowl, and cover surface of custard with plastic wrap. Chill.

Step 3

Peel oranges, removing white pithy part. Cut each orange in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices; set aside.

Step 4

Split ladyfingers; tear each half into thirds. Line the bottom of a 3-quart straight-sided glass bowl or trifle bowl with half of ladyfingers. Spoon 1 cup custard over ladyfingers. Spoon half of the cranberry sauce over the custard. Arrange half of orange slices over the cranberry sauce and around the inside edge of bowl. Repeat the procedure, ending with orange slices. Cover and chill 8 hours. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping and 1 teaspoon almonds, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

MDinMinnesota's Review

January 01, 2011
This is really good! Surprisingly good. If it doesn't chill for 8 hours, doesn't matter (mine chilled for 3 hours and was uncompromised). It is beautiful in the bowl, too. A few changes I made in the sauce recipe: I used the grated orange rind of 2 whole oranges, and added 1/4 tsp cinnamon (which was very nice). I also didn't strain the sauce when done (I think totally unnecessary), but I did cook it longer on the stove top - probably 45 min, then whisked it. Sectioned the oranges into quarters, then sliced thin. Delicious! I recommend!

Dreid111's Review

February 01, 2009
I make this for special occasions and everyone loves it. It's just a perfect combination and very easy, plus it looks stunning in a trifle bowl.