THE BACK IN THE DAY BAKERY COOKBOOK
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
2 cups whole milk
4 cups mixed fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
1 12-ounce jar of raspberry jam
1/2 cup Chambord, sweet sherry, Grand Marnier, or kirsch (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
To make the sweet cakes: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; set aside. In a measuring cup or a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter and 2 cups sugar together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add the buttermilk and vanilla mixture. Add the flour mixture in thirds, mixing after each addition until just incorporated.
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cakes 2 inches apart. You should have 24 cakes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool them on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. The cakes will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
To make the custard: Whisk the egg yolks, 6 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale in color. Set aside.
n a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat to just under a boil. Whisking constantly, add about 1 cup of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs, so they won’t curdle. Continuing to whisk, add the remainder of the milk.
Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon vanilla until combined.
Let the custard sit for about 2 minutes to cool slightly, then whisk in 2 1/2 tablespoons butter (room temperature, cut into cubes) until it is melted and the custard is smooth and silky.
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard so that a skin does not form and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, you can set the bowl of custard in a larger bowl filled with ice and whisky occasionally for about 15 minutes, until chilled.)
Meanwhile, macerate the fruit: In a large bowl, toss the fruit together with 1/2 cup of sugar until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
To assemble the trifle: Slice each sweet cake in half, spread with the jam, and reassemble to make 24 sandwiches.
Place 1 sweet cake sandwich in the bottom of each of the Mason jars and follow with a layer of fruit and a layer of custard; repeat one more time. If using the liqueur, pour 2 teaspoons over each trifle.
Top with Fresh Whipped Cream. Covered with plastic wrap, the trifle will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 day.
To make fresh whipped cream: Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until the cream holds nice soft peaks.