Apple Trifle with Calvados and Caramel Apples

January 16, 2013

Apple Trifle Apple Trifle

In a blink of an eye I went from frantic pre-Christmas mayhem to mid-January. Curse you lazy summer days and your leisurely wine-friendly afternoons! In any case, if it’s not too late to say, I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and new year. It’s the summer school holidays now in Oz which means I have ample opportunity to be super lazy for a bit. But now it’s really time to boot myself up the arse. And this is the perfect first recipe to kickstart the year (resolutions be damned!). For the last few months, I’ve had nothing but apple trifle on my mind. Ever since I tasted an amazing toffee apple version with apple cider jelly from Lisa of Spicy Ice Cream and then just recently at Christmas, when my brother took over the dessert reins and gave us a booze-soaked trifle of Apple and Calvados. Which sadly I had to limit my intake of because I’m the cheapest drunk in the world. Now with the holiday craziness over, it was definitely the right time to create this apple trifle for myself (oh yes, ALL for me thank you very much).

Apple Trifle

Apple Trifle

I admit I’ve never been big on trifles for most of my life which I blame on all those terrifying concoctions of yesteryear that consisted of instant Birds custard, bland jelly, soggy sponge laced with cheap rocket-fuel alcohol, jam or overly sweet fruit mush and that scary super-white whipped cream that you see on cheap supermarket cakes. Now I’ve seen the light; a good freshly-made trifle really is a thing of beauty.

Every spoonful of this is amazing; soft brown sugar sponge, stewed apples in an indulgent Calvados and cinnamon-spiced caramel, rich vanilla custard, lightly whipped cream and crispy Calvados caramelised almonds. I know the recipe seems like a bit of work but I assure you that each step really doesn’t take long to do. Plus other than the whipped cream, all of the elements can be done ahead and chilled in the fridge until required. Then all it takes is a minute or two to put it all together. Believe me, your effort will be richly rewarded.

Apple Trifle

Apple Trifle

Apple Trifle with Calvados and Caramel Apples
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Brown sugar and vanilla sponge
  1. 4 large eggs
  2. 50g brown sugar
  3. 50g caster sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or scraped beans from 1 vanilla bean)
  5. 125g plain flour, sifted
  6. 2 Tbl / 30g butter, melted and cooled
Caramelised Calvados Almonds
  1. 100g flaked almonds
  2. 30g / 2 Tbl caster sugar
  3. 15ml / 1 Tbl Calvados
Vanilla Bean Custard
  1. 4 egg yolks
  2. 70g caster sugar
  3. 200ml milk
  4. 200ml cream
  5. 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or extract)
Calvados and Cinnamon Caramel Apples
  1. 50ml Calvados
  2. 40ml water
  3. 110g caster sugar
  4. 50ml cream
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 4 large apples – peeled, cored and diced into 1.5cm chunks (granny smith or braeburn)
Vanilla Cream
  1. 300ml pouring cream
  2. 1 Tbl caster sugar (or to taste but bear in mind the trifle is already sweet from the caramel apples etc)
  3. 1 tsps vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
To serve
  1. About 50-80ml Calvados to drizzle over the sponge (optional if you like trifles super boozy)
Instructions
  1. For the sponge, preheat oven to 160°C. In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, sugars and vanilla on high speed for a few minutes or until it has tripled in volume and is pale and thick. Gently fold in the sifted flour then the melted butter until just combined. Pour into a Swiss roll tin or 25cm square cake pan lined with baking paper. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Can be done ahead and stored in an airtight container lined with baking paper.
  2. For the almonds, increase the oven temperature and preheat to 170°C. Mix the almonds, sugar and Calvados together in a bowl then spread them out onto a lined baking tray. Toast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. You might have to check it halfway and toss it about a bit to make sure they’re all browning evenly. When cool enough to touch, separate any clusters of almond and set aside to cool completely. Can be done ahead and stored in an airtight container.
  3. For the custard, whisk together the egg yolks and a third of the sugar in a bowl. In a pan, heat the milk and cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla seeds. As soon as it comes to a simmer, pour a bit of the milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly as you do. Tip this mixture through a strainer back into the pot.
  4. Stir the custard constantly over a low heat with a wooden spoon until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon (78°C / 170°F on a candy thermometer). This can take at least 10 minutes but do not be tempted to turn up the heat. Remove from heat, strain into a container, cover the surface with cling wrap then cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight (custard will thicken further when cold).
  5. For the apples, place the Calvados, water and sugar in a heavy based pan over low heat and stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring to a boil and cook until a deep golden colour (as soon as it starts to colour, keep an eye on it because it won’t take too long to burn). Carefully pour in the cream and stir together until combined. Stir in the cinnamon. Add the apples, stir to coat in the caramel and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until apples has softened a little but has still retained a bit of bite. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature. The liquid will thicken upon cooling.
  6. For the cream, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla into soft peaks and chill until required.
To assemble
  1. Slice sponge cake into 2cm thick slices then place into the bottom of a large trifle bowl or 6-8 individual glasses. If you want a boozy trifle, drizzle a bit of Calvados over the sponge and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. Otherwise top with the apples, drizzling a little of the appley caramel sauce over the sponge. Add the custard and then finally the cream into even layers then scatter the almonds over the top (or feel free to drizzle extra caramel over the cream before the almonds). Chill before serving.
Notes
  1. Recipe adapted and inspired by Gourmet Traveller and Spicy Ice Cream
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/
Apple Trifle

Apple Trifle

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

mack smith March 24, 2014 at 17:52

Hi,
“Apple Trifle with Calvados and Caramel Apples” is looking really good but is there any way to make this with any brandy. because In my house nobody drink brandy.

…………………………………

Finger food catering Melbourne

Reply

Chan lan July 28, 2013 at 23:35

Looks delicious ….but instead of calvados what can I use ?

Reply

Citrus and Candy July 29, 2013 at 00:15

Hi, Calvados is just a French apple brandy so if you can find another brand of it then you should be fine. Otherwise you could just use a plain brandy or cognac. Or perhaps half brandy and half apple cider or an apple liqueur (bear in mind that this may add a touch more sweetness to the dessert depending on how sweet the liqueur you use is). Hope this helps!

Reply

Billy July 17, 2013 at 02:07

This looks very good and I think my wife will love it. I can’t wait to whip this one up, hopefully this weekend. Thanks!
Billy recently posted..Wagner Cast Iron Skillet: My First Vintage Cast Iron Cookware

Reply

Amanda@ChewTown January 28, 2013 at 21:03

I love that you decided to make one all to yourself that you didn’t have to share! I would totally do the same. Wonderful recipe and gorgeous photos as always.
Amanda@ChewTown recently posted..Onion, Italian Sausage and Goats Cheese Tart

Reply

Martine @ Chompchomp January 25, 2013 at 15:55

Love the moody photos! I too have suffered from “OMG its the end of January!” syndrome
Martine @ Chompchomp recently posted..The Karalee on Preston, Como

Reply

Elizabeth@allthatisbeautiful January 25, 2013 at 11:58

How original is this. It looks amazing and so pretty. I really want a taste. Yum. xxx
Elizabeth@allthatisbeautiful recently posted..Simple and Yummy Rainy Day Treat

Reply

Alison January 24, 2013 at 13:55

I know what you mean about the trifles of yesteryear! Just wanted to drop by and say I *adore* the images on this blog! … and the recipes are pretty fine, too! ;)
Alison recently posted..Egg & Bacon Pie

Reply

Amy January 24, 2013 at 04:56

This sounds so good that I might actually have found a trifle worth making! Like you, I have bad memories of trifle as a child in the eighties. Horrible dessert that mist people loved yet I refused to eat. Since discovering homemade custard which I adore and is a million miles from the thick bright yellow variety made with Birds powder, I have overcome my fear of custard. I think this will help me overcome my fear of trifle! Thank you!

Reply

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul January 22, 2013 at 07:53

Deliciously decadent Karen! I love calvados!
Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Quick and Easy Lentil Cakes

Reply

milkteaxx January 21, 2013 at 23:13

oh yum! i love apple based desserts
milkteaxx recently posted..easy peasy pork ribs.

Reply

Lisa January 19, 2013 at 18:42

This. sounds. amazing! Definitely making this soon.
Lisa recently posted..Hazelnut Frangipane Tart with Semillon Vanilla Peaches

Reply

Belinda @themoonblushbaker January 19, 2013 at 02:42

This looks so elegant as a dinenr party treat but yet rustic. What type of liquor could I use instead of Calvados? (in case i have drunk it all before i can make this)?
Belinda @themoonblushbaker recently posted..Foodies phases have produced Buttered Popcorn polenta bites

Reply

Citrus and Candy January 19, 2013 at 19:37

Hi Belinda, Calvados is just apple brandy so a plain brandy could be good. Or any apple-flavoured liqueurs or spirits that isn’t sickly sweet. You could also use a cider or sweet wine to flavour the caramel. Hope this helps!

Reply

Julia {The Roasted Root} January 18, 2013 at 15:15

Wow! I am so impressed by this triffle with all of its rich, decadent ingredients! I’m sure it’s an unbeatable treat! Gorgeous photos and beautiful dessert!
Julia {The Roasted Root} recently posted..Cheese & Herb Irish Soda Bread

Reply

OohLookBel January 18, 2013 at 10:09

I love those pics of the glass of Calvados and the spillage around it – sort of like an ‘after’ shot of too much imbibing.
OohLookBel recently posted..Great Caesar’s ghost with maple bacon and anchovy dressing

Reply

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 18, 2013 at 02:57

This trifle looks fabulous! Is it weird that I want it for Breakfast?! haha
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar recently posted..Egg Salad Sandwich with Crispy Leeks

Reply

Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon January 16, 2013 at 23:21

The word “trifle” has always made me shudder. I also had too many bad trifle experiences in my childhood. But this looks so lovely and sophisticated. I should make it … it would be a form of therapy for me!
Stephanie – The Dessert Spoon recently posted..Ginger Crunch Slice

Reply

The Food Sage January 16, 2013 at 22:21

Gotta love trifle. It’s a firm favourite of mine and this one looks lovely. Great photography.
The Food Sage recently posted..Is barbecuing really cooking?

Reply

Vivian - vxdollface January 16, 2013 at 16:01

mm another delectable dessert :)

Reply

Glenda January 16, 2013 at 11:36

Yum can’t wait to try this. I have tried lots of trifles over the years but not apple. Could you substitute alcohol as I don’t have calvados?

Reply

Citrus and Candy January 16, 2013 at 12:49

Hi Glenda, of course you can. Brandy or rum goes well with apples or for the caramel perhaps cider or a sweet dessert wine?

Reply

Jacq January 16, 2013 at 11:17

I’ve never really been a fan of trifle but maybe it’s because I’ve never had any good ones! The caramel apples and Calvados sounds like a great flavour combo
Jacq recently posted..Orto Trading Co, Surry Hills

Reply

Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet January 16, 2013 at 10:10

What a gorgeous trifle!
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet recently posted..Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Reply

Angela January 16, 2013 at 09:14

Hey, love this recipe … But you left out the flour in the sponge!

Reply

Citrus and Candy January 16, 2013 at 12:47

OOPS darn late nights :P All fixed!

Reply

Tina @ bitemeshowme January 16, 2013 at 07:52

I love that this trifle can be made with individual portions because I wouldn’t want to share any of it. I really am taking a liking to all the flavours that you’ve used. It sounds like the perfect match!
Tina @ bitemeshowme recently posted..In-N-Out Burger, Barstow – California USA

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: