Cranberry Trifle and Warm Wishes for a Happy New Year

I was off cooking duty on Christmas as two of my lovely aunts hosted Christmas Eve and Christmas Day respectively. But I did dabble with dessert and as I had some fresh cranberries on hand I wanted to use them to add a festive red color to whatever I was to finally make. Knowing that I had a new package of Savoiardi cookies in the pantry I decided to put together a cranberry trifle with a Savoiardi twist. I “spiked” the cream with a bit of Marsala and fell in love with this Zabaglione-like cream filling (I could have spooned the entire bowl–no joke). And not to brag or anything but … this festive cranberry trifle was enjoyed by all on a most joyful Christmas Day.

And here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2009! Kali Xronia!

P.S. My cranberry trifle was by no means the only dessert set out on Christmas. As you can see here, it was surrounded by a multitude of sinfully rich desserts from my mom’s baklava, to my aunt’s karydopita, to another aunt’s (our generous hostess’) coconut macaroons, chocolate chip biscotti, melomakarona, kourabiedes and her insanely good pumpkin cheesecake topped with fresh whipped cream and a generous dusting of cinnamon.

Cranberry Trifle

About 24 ounces of fresh cranberries
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups water
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup dry Marsala
12 to 15 Savoiardi (depending on your trifle bowl)

Combine cranberries with the regular sugar, ginger and water and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let compote cool completely.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla on high until well combined. With mixer on medium, gradually add heavy cream and Marsala; continue beating until soft peaks form.
Arrange a layer of Savoiardi in a trifle bowl. Spoon 1/3 of compote over, gently spreading to sides of bowl. Dollop 1/3 of cream filling over compote, also gently spreading to sides of bowl. Repeat twice, ending with cream filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).

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13 Responses to “Cranberry Trifle and Warm Wishes for a Happy New Year”

  1. Ivy says:

    Happy New Year Maria to you and your family. The trifle sounds delicious.

  2. Peter G says:

    OMG! That trifle sounds delicious! Happy 2009 Maria!

  3. Hopie says:

    I had trifle for New Year’s Eve too, not cranberry, but that sounds yummy! Happy New Year!

  4. Peter M says:

    See, I knew you were busy cooking up a storm!

    Trifle is one of my favourite desserts.

  5. Sam Sotiropoulos says:

    Happy New Year Maria! May 2009 bring you and your family health, happiness and prosperity. And keep up the blogging! I love the trifle recipe and will definitely be trying it. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and by the looks of the sweet table photos, it looks like your family has more than its fair share of left over holiday treats, so you can enjoy them for another couple days. :-)

  6. Bellini Valli says:

    Eutichismenos o kainourgios chronos. Trifle could be one of my favourite desserts. Not overly sweet and there would be a little bit of tang with the addition of the cranberries. I look forward to sharing many more delicious dishes in 2009!!!

  7. Teresa Cordero Cordell says:

    Maria, what a delightful spread. And your trifle looks and sounds absolutely delicious. May you have an excellent 2009 and may all your wishes come true in the New Year. Hugs.

  8. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Happy New Year, Maria! I love trifle! This looks awesome! :)

  9. Chef E says:

    Thanks for coming over, and you would not believe it but I was trying to think of a way to make my husband a cranberry treat for tonight…so mind if I make this, but with a twist…I will give you credit and a link to here on the blog tomorrow???

  10. Photonuts says:

    What a beautiful photo, makes it more inviting!

  11. Chef E says:

    Maria- come see what you have inspired…

  12. alexandra's kitchen says:

    What a spread! The trifle sounds divine, but kourabiedes are my absolute favorite. My Grandmother makes them for me every Christmas … well not just me, but you know what I mean!

  13. jodimop says:

    Kali Xronia! Lovely trifle.

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