Trifle with Pears and Caramel

Ease of preparation: Moderate
Preparation time : 35 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration time: 4 hours
Serves: 8 to 10


  • Confectioner’s Custard
    • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
    • ½ cup (125 ml) 35% cream
    • ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
    • 3 tbsp (45 ml) flour
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • Caramelized Pears
    • 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
    • ¼ (60 ml) cup sugar
    • 4 pears, peeled, cut in halves, seeds removed and cut into thin strips
  • Caramel Sauce
    • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
    • 1 cup (250 ml) sugar
    • 2 tbsp (30 ml) corn syrup
    • 2/3 cup (150 ml) 35% cream, hot
  • Whipped Cream
    • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) 35% cream
    • ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • Assembly
    • 12 commercial lady fingers, broken in four
    • ¼ cup (60 ml) almonds, stringed, broiled and cracked


  1. Confectioner’s Custard
    1. Use the microwave to heat the milk and cream. Reserve.
    2. In a bowl, mix the remainder of the sugar and flour. Incorporate the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Add the heated cream mixture a little by little while whisking.
    3. Bring to a boil over medium heat while whisking. Remove from the heat at the first sign of boiling. Add the vanilla and pass the custard through a strainer.
    4. Put a plastic film directly on the surface of the hot confectioner’s custard. Let it cool down and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until the cooling is completed.
  2. Caramelized Pears
    1. In a big frying pan, heat the water and sugar until of a golden color. Over a brisk flame, brown the pears for 4 to 5 minutes. Reserve on a plate. Let cool and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  3. Caramel Sauce
    1. In a saucepan, bring to a boil the water, sugar and syrup. Cook until the mixture takes on a golden color. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the cream little by little. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Reserve in a bowl and let cool completely.
  4. Whipped Cream
    1. In a bowl, whip the cream, vanilla and sugar until firm peaks are obtained. Put the cream in a confectioner’s bag that has a star tube outlet.
  5. Assembling
    1. In a glass service bowl of about 12 cups (3 litres), assemble the trifle by layering half of each of the preparations except for the caramel that will be divided into 4: confectioner’s custard, lady fingers, pears, caramel and whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining halves and finish with rosettes of whip cream, ¼ of the caramel and almonds. Use the remainder of the caramel in the service, if wanted.
  6. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Note: Overnight, the lady fingers will have absorbed more liquid and will be tastier.