Fresh Summer Berry Trifle

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Pastry Cream:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups half and half
¾ cup cane sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Chiffon Cake:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter to grease pan
2 cups sifted unbleached white flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ plus ⅓ cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons tepid water
3 egg whites
½ cup liquor like crème de cassis or brandy

6 cups of your favorite summer berries
1 ½ cups whipped cream make your own or buy pre-made


Pastry Cream
• Heat the vanilla and half and half in a small sauce pan until it is hot but not boiling.
• In a large bowl whisk the sugar and salt into the egg yolks and continue whisking until slightly thickened and lighter in color. Add the corn starch and whisk to combine.
• Pour ⅓ of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture stirring constantly until well blended.
• Pour all the yolk mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
• Strain the mixture into a bowl using a fine-mesh sieve.
• Gently whisk in the butter, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

Chiffon Cake
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Butter a 9 inch round baking pan.
• Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt two times in a bowl.
• Cream the butter and ¾ cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Blend in the vanilla.
• Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the water in two additions, starting and ending with the flour.
• In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar in a steady stream until the whites hold  firm peaks.
• Gently fold the whites into the batter, ⅓ at a time.
• Pour into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pans. Cool and remove from the pan.

To Assemble
• Cut the cooled cake into 3 layers. Brush the liquor on one side of each layer.
• Place a layer of cake in the bottom of a serving bowl.
• Layer ⅓ of the fruit on top followed by ½ of the pastry cream.
• Add another layer of cake, followed by another ⅓ of the fruit and the rest of the pastry cream.
• Top with the final round of cake, add the whipped cream and the remaining fruit.
• Chill 1 to 4 hours before serving to allow flavors to marry.

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