12 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Génoise is ideal for a trifle because the cake nicely soaks up the liquid. Orange juice, brandy, or any liqueur can be substituted for the sherry. This is a perfect make-ahead dessert for the holidays.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Classic Genoise in a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Cool completely.

Step 2

To prepare the custard, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (sugar through egg) in a bowl; stir well with a whisk, and set aside. Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around the edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until egg mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from ice; stir in lemon rind and vanilla.

Step 3

Combine the jam and juice in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high for 15 seconds, stirring until the jam dissolves. Set aside.

Step 4

Cut cake crosswise into 5 (3-inch- wide) pieces. Cut cake lengthwise into 8 (1 1/4-inch) pieces to equal 40 pieces. Arrange 14 cake pieces in a single layer in the bottom of a 2-quart trifle bowl or souffle dish. Lightly brush cake pieces with sherry. Spread half of strawberry mixture over cake in dish; top with 1 cup bananas. Spread half of custard over bananas. Arrange 13 cake pieces over custard, and brush with sherry. Spread remaining strawberry mixture over cake; top with 1 cup bananas and remaining custard. Top with 13 cake pieces; brush with remaining sherry. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Uncover and spread whipped topping over top; sprinkle with almonds.

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