Saturday, November 12, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

The setting is Edgecombe St. Mary, a sleepy little village in the English countryside. The unlikely hero is Major Pettigrew - old retired Major who sticks to tradition and honor above all else. When he decides to turn tradition on its head and falls in love with a Pakistani widow running the only store in the village, chaos ensues. Helen Simonson's first book - our book club's pick for the month - is thoroughly enjoyable for its quirky characters and funny, almost absurd situations. I ended up being charmed by the Major.

To celebrate one of the best books I've read in a while, I thought up a rather elaborate dessert. It had to be British, and what's more English than a trifle.


Caramel Apple Trifle by Bombay Foodie

The bottom layer is an apple jelly. I knew my other layers will be super sweet so I kept this one fresh and simple. I soaked one gelatin sheet in cold water. Next, I heated 50 ml apple juice. Squeezed out water from the gelatin and added it to the now warm juice. Stirred it around until the gelatin was completely dissolved, then added another 100 ml of apple juice to the mix and gave it a minute or so on the stove so everything was heated. I poured this jelly into three glasses, let it cool, then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.

In the meantime, I made the next layer - the sponge cake. I've had limited luck making sponge in the past but Deeba said her recipe works like a charm. And it does! The sponge cake had a perfect texture. I still think it tastes a little eggy but it wont matter in this trifle. Once the sponge was cooled, I cut rounds with my cookie cutter to fit the glass and dropped them on top of the jelly.

Next comes caramel apple, the star of the show. I peeled two golden apples (you can use granny smith) and cut them into 1 cm cubes. In a thick bottomed pan, I mixed apples with 3 tbsp sugar and heated them until the sugar started to caramalize. Added a tbsp of butter, mixed everything in and kept cooking until the sugar had turned into a rich amber caramel and the apples were cooked through. I let them cool and then added them on top of the sponge.

Are you thinking that there's something off in this dish...that it's so English. And where, then you say, is Mrs. Ali. She comes forth in the last layer, the custard that isn't your creme anglaise but is in fact the way pouring custard is made in India and Pakistan. This is the custard that comes in a packet and all you need to do is mix it with milk and sugar, then boil until thick. Let it cool a bit too before you pour it as the final layer on the trifle. Put the assembled dessert in the fridge for a few hours and it will taste a lot better.

7 comments:

notyet100 said...

This looks so good,.will look for the book...:)

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Swati Sapna said...

wow! quite a lovely trifle... love the apples part :) definitely the star of the dish!

pinksrecipediary said...

The apple Jelly at the base looks very good....hav to give it a try.

Rachel said...

Feels so bad not getting back to readin, one of my favourite things to do.

I love what went into the trifle.

Vidhya Subramony said...

Hi,
I want to join in your book club. They sound very interesting!
Kindly contact me @ mysweetkaramkapi@gmail.com

apprenticeamruta said...

A very well thought of and elaborate dessert indeed ! i can actually imagine the texture and taste of each layer the way you have described them and they seem perfectly in tune with one another..its now on my menu list for a dinner party :)