Pecan Pumpkin Butter Trifle
A traditional English dessert, trifle consists of a sponge cake or ladyfingers layered with fruit, spirits and whipped cream. During colonial times, English settlers adapted their cherished family recipes to incorporate New World ingredients. Sugar was a precious commodity in those days, so the dessert was usually reserved for special occasions, including the annual harvest feast, and autumn trifles typically featured seasonal ingredients. Here, we continue the tradition with a rich, creamy trifle that showcases two of Americas favorite flavors: pumpkin and pecan.
For an elegant presentation, assemble the trifle in individual glasses or clear glass bowls to showcase the colors and textures of the various layers. Presenting the desserts individually allows each one to maintain its attractive appearance right down to the last spoonful.
- 1 package spiced pecan pumpkin quick bread
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup pecan pumpkin butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream, vanilla and sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the pecan pumpkin butter. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the maple syrup, brandy and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To assemble the trifle, place 3 slices of the quick bread in the bottom of a trifle bowl or deep soufflé dish, cutting the slices in half or into quarters as needed to form a single layer of bread. Using a pastry brush, brush the bread with some of the maple syrup mixture and let it soak in. Using an offset spatula, spread 3/4 to 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture evenly over the bread. Repeat the layering process 3 to 4 times. Garnish the trifle with the pecan halves. Serves 12 to 14.
Make-Ahead Tips: Up to 1 day in advance, bake the pecan pumpkin quick bread and let cool, then wrap with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Prepare the pumpkin butter whipped cream and maple syrup mixture and refrigerate separately in airtight containers; be sure to rewarm the syrup mixture before using. On Thanksgiving morning, assemble the trifle and refrigerate until serving time.