Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Very Blueberry Thanksgiving: Pumpkin blueberry trifle

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Add this pumpkin blueberry trifle to your Thanksgiving dessert table (photo: Karen Ard

When I started planning the menu for A Very Blueberry Thanksgiving, the twist-on-tradition Thanksgiving dinner I hosted last weekend for Los Angeles food bloggers, I had no trouble pairing blueberries with pumpkin soup, turkey, roasted butternut squash salad, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

(Yep, that was the twist - every one of the 10 courses served included fresh, dried, or frozen blueberries.)

But I couldn't decide on dessert. I wanted to do something with pumpkin, but pumpkin pie with blueberry sauce felt underwhelming.

It was Julie Stas, the lovely woman who leads the public relations team for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (one of the event's sponsors), who suggested a trifle. I'd never made a trifle before, but it sounded like a good idea: cake or cookies, fruit, custard, whipped cream. Pumpkin blueberry trifle. Sure. Why not?

Give it up for Julie. She is a genius. This pumpkin blueberry trifle came together easily, looked absolutely stunning in the bowl, and tasted heavenly. The warm spices in the pumpkin bread played perfectly off the tangy blueberry sauce and the smooth, creamy vanilla pudding.

And while a decade ago this dessert would have been impossible to pull off at Thanksgiving because fresh blueberries were nowhere to be found, now we can get excellent fresh blueberries from Chile and other South American countries from October until March. The blueberries I bought at my local grocer to top this pumpkin blueberry trifle were plump, juicy, and sweet. Click here to learn more about winter blueberries.

Add this pumpkin blueberry trifle to your Thanksgiving dessert list - you'll be glad you did.

Note: I made my own pumpkin bread (recipe included below), but feel free to use a prepared loaf from your favorite bakery or grocery store.

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Pumpkin Blueberry Trifle
Spicy pumpkin bread and fresh blueberries make this traditional English trifle a delicious and impressive Thanksgiving dessert.
  • 2 cups pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 32-ounce bag frozen blueberries
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups vanilla pudding (buy prepared or try this recipe)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
Make the pumpkin bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, 2 cups sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Sprinkle the salt, flour, baking powder, and baking soda on top of the pumpkin mixture, then stir with a large spoon just until combined. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour in the batter. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then crumble the pumpkin bread into large chunks with your fingers. (Alternatively, you can buy a large loaf of prepared pumpkin bread.)Make the blueberry sauce: Put the frozen blueberries, remaining ½ cup sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer about 1 hour, until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Remove from the heat and let cool.Just before assembling the trifle, whip the cream with an electric mixer (or by hand if you’re sturdy) until it is fluffy and glossy.Assemble the trifle: In a large glass bowl, put down a layer of pumpkin bread crumbs, a layer of pudding, and a layer of blueberry sauce. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of crumbs. Pile the whipped cream on top and scatter the fresh blueberries on the whipped cream. Let sit at least 2 hours before serving to give everything a chance to meld.Note: Trifle can also be made in small glasses for individual servings.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 servings


Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought said...

What a brilliant combination of blueberries and pumpkin. I think I will make this for Thanksgiving.

Peaceful Cooking said...

It was delicious!! You did an amazing job Erika :)

Erika Kerekes said...

@Cathy you will love it! @Danielle thank you :)

Kate | Food Babbles said...

I love trifles and this one sounds so unique. I adore the pairing of pumpkin bread with blueberries. I can practically taste it in all it's glorious wonder. Lovely!

Sippity Sup said...

Blueberries are perfect in triffle because they don't go all mush when sitting it the cream. GREG

Faye Levy said...

Looks delicious! Do you simmer the sauce uncovered? Also, where's the link to your vanilla pudding recipe?

Erika Kerekes said...

@Faye - yes, I did simmer the sauce uncovered. I think I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the vanilla pudding, but it's pretty buried, so I think any vanilla pudding would do, even the stuff from the box.

showfoodchef said...

I had such a great time and your recipe's are terrific! The Squash salad was my fave! I finally got my post up too. Thanks again for inviting me. :D

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