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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Caramel Apple Trifle - Recipe Swap

It's time for another Burwell General Store recipe swap (the goal is to recreate a recipe from an old hymnal recipe book and make it your own by updating or changing at least 3 ingredients); this time it's a classic taffy apple recipe. 

Caramel and apples conjure up so many ideas it's hard to narrow this down to one recipe. Certainly ice cream came to mind but I've already made a lovely Apple Ice Cream Pie with Granola Crust and Caramel Drizzle.  Since the taffy apples were on a stick, I ran down a list of apple-stick thoughts, but nothing really spoke to me.

The trifle idea came to me as I stared at three empty glass vases that were just begging to be filled. Layers of lightly sauteed apples, creamy mascarpone and ricotta pastry cream, tart strawberries all topped off with a spiced whipped cream and fresh mint leaf. A crunchy, flaky pie crust layer found it's way into two of the trifles, while the third remained crust free and gluten free.

Served at my annual homemade pasta party, this was another tremendous Fat and Happy hit with the crowd! If you are really missing the sticks from the original recipe, you could try eating this with chopsticks.

Tips and Techniques:  This is a super simple and forgiving recipe, use crumbled cake instead of the pie crust, or cream cheese instead of the mascarpone.

Caramel Apple Trifle

Putting it all together:

Decide on your container, I used a variety of glass 'vases' and canning jars; try using a large glass punch container or small individual glass dessert dishes.

Make the pastry cream and caramel, saute the apples, make the pie crust (or substitute cake or phyllo dough). Let everything cool off to room temperature, then layer away. Start with a layer of the sauteed apples, drizzle with the caramel, scoop in the apple pastry cream and a spoon of the applesauce, add a layer of broken pie crust and then start over with the sauteed apples.

I added the sliced strawberries on the top layer, then topped it off with the spiced whipped cream and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a few hours until ready to serve.

Layer Ingredients:

6 ripe strawberries, sliced
Mint leaves, for decoration on top of the trifle
1/4 cup applesauce
Roughly 2 cups of baked pie crust
Ricotta mascarpone pasty cream (recipe below)
Classic caramel sauce (recipe below)
 Sauteed apples (recipe below)
Cinnamon spiced whipped cream (recipe below)

Ricotta Mascarpone Pastry Cream:

1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup ricotta
8 oz mascarpone
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbls sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of allspice
pinch of salt

Lightly mix all of the ingredients together, adjust seasonings if needed.

Classic Caramel Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1/4 heaping cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream

Melt the butter and the sugar together, let that come to soft boil. Carefully whisk in the cream; simmer for 10 minutes.

Brown Sugar Sauteed Apples

3 apples, 1 red delicious, green grannysmith, jonagold (or pick your three favorites, using various apples will give you the best texture to the finished product)
2 Tbls butter
2 Tbls brown sugar, heaping
squeeze of lemon
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Peel and dice the apples, place in a large saute pan with all the other ingredients. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, tossing often. I didn't want these mushy like a pie but rather I wanted them to have some bite to them; cook to your preferred doneness.

Cinnamon Spiced Whipped Cream

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbls sugar
pinch of cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract

Using a hand mixer or wand, begin to whip the cream and sugar until it begins to hold a peak.
Add in the pinch of cinnamon and splash of vanilla extract, continue to whip until desired stiffness is reached.

 View all my fellow Recipe Swappers at the Recipe Swap page here.


  1. I want to go swimming in this. Monique, as always, your posts are just dreamy. Thank you so much for participating in the recipe swap, and I look forward to many more!

  2. This is beautiful Monique! What a clever improvement on the traditional taffy apple. I'd take this anyday!

  3. Oh my. These look too beautiful to eat!!

  4. Beautiful! And I LOVE anything you can serve in a mason jar :) What a gorgeous way to present something so yummy to a crowd. Bookmarking this one.

  5. hpw gorgeous! that is such a great idea... It is 9 am and my mouth is watering!

  6. I got to eat this (yes I went back for THIRDS! I'm sooo busted now). AMAZING!!!! Tastes better than it looks!!!! (this is Marianne posting 'anonymously')

  7. That looks soooooo good!! Thank you for your kind words on my first recipe swap. Lovely blog.

  8. I don't think anyone would complain about not eating ice cream if they were served this. Oh my! Like the best of pie, apples & cheese, and dessert combined. And I love your chopstick comment! hee hee. Really lovely dish!



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