On Christmas Day, my daughter and I have dinner alone and try to have something a little different that would not be appreciated by the men in the family. This is a very easy trifle that can be made with any type of pound cake. My youngest daughter always gives us her prize-winning Lemon Pound Cake for St. Nick (December 6) and I freeze a portion of it to use in this dessert. I like the use of the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar to stabilize the whipped cream to make a dish that is still delicious on December 26. I don’t know if it will last another day, since we have always eaten the last crumb by then.
APRICOT RASPBERRY TRIFLE
- One 15 oz. can of apricots, drained
- One 10-12 oz. bag of frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 cups pound cake cubes, divided
- ¼ cup brandy, divided (or juice drained from fruit and/or orange juice)
In a large bowl, combine drained apricots and thawed/drained raspberries. Toss lightly to combine. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add cream and beat until soft peaks form and mixture is like soft mousse (don’t overbeat).
In a 6 inch glass container, place 1-½ cups of cake cubes on the bottom. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of brandy. Place half of the fruit on top of the cake cubes.
Top with half of the cream/mousse mixture. Repeat with cake cubes, brandy, fruit and cream/mousse. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
I wanted to use up some ripe bananas as well as some apricots I had bought for another recipe. I went back to a recipe for Banana Nut Bread that I thought was good enough for the Ohio State Fair in 1987. It didn’t win a ribbon, but it’s a great quick bread (not every entry in a fair wins a prize) and I adapted the recipe to add apricots and make 24 delicious muffins.
BANANA APRICOT MUFFINS
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups ripe bananas, pureed (3-4 medium bananas)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots*
*I bought some wonderful, moist apricots which did not have to be soaked. If you have the very dry kind, rehydrate by pour scalding water over the fruit and let set covered for 20 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel before using.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Have two 12-cup muffin tins lined with Silicone or paper liners, or grease and flour cups.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add pureed bananas, oil, sugars and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Add to banana mixture, stirring just until all of the flour is absorbed. Stir in chopped nuts and apricots.
Let muffins rest in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove muffins to cool on wire racks.
Yield: 24 muffins. These muffins freeze very well. Let thaw overnight, pop them in a cold oven, turn on oven and heat to 350 degrees F. At that point, turn off the oven and remove the muffins to a rack. They will taste as if they were freshly baked that morning.
I had made a crisp using pineapple and dried apricots, and thought it was a wonderful combination. My daughters and I are all trying to cut back a little on portions, especially dessert portions, and I made these miniature upside-down cakes, using my 1950s tried-and-true recipe, adapting it to a 12-cup muffin tin. These are really buttery and delicious – one cake was satisfying for each of us as a serving.
APRICOT-PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN MINI CAKES
- 6 Tblsp. butter, divided
- 6 Tblsp. dark brown sugar, divided
- 3 slices of pineapple, drained, quartered
- 12 dried apricots, quartered
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1-½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
To make topping:
In each section of a 12-cup muffin tin, place ½ tablespoon of butter.
Place in warmed oven for 3-5 minutes until butter is melted. In each section, stir in ½ tablespoon of dark brown sugar (1-½ tsp.).
Cut quarters of pineapple into 4 wedges and place in each cup. Add 4 pieces of apricots to make a starburst pattern. Set aside.
To make batter:
Place butter, baking powder, vanilla, sugar, flour and salt in mixer bowl. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Add milk and egg, beat for another minute on medium speed. Spoon batter on top of fruit in muffin tin, about 3 tablespoons per section.
This dessert was adapted from a recipe in an old 1977 Dinner and Supper Cookbook. It’s easy to make this tangy, creamy dessert.
APRICOT CREAM DESSERT
- 15.25 oz. can of apricot halves
- 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
- 3 Tblsp. cold water
- 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
Drain the apricot halves. Note: I always save small amounts of drained juice to keep in a one-pint jar in the freezer. Then, I have juice on hand to use instead of cold water when making Jello.
Puree the apricots in a blender or food processor. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the gelatin and cold water. Add the puree, lemon juice and sugar. Heat until gelatin and sugar are dissolved and mixture just starts to bubble.
Pour apricot mixture into a 4-cup container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Fold whipped topping into chilled apricot mixture and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
Spoon into 6 dessert dishes.
This makes a nice light dessert.