Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

For you American types, Boxing Day is what we in the Commonwealth call the day after Christmas. It's a statutory holiday here, but stores open and people go nuts shopping at Boxing Day sales. I have a firm rule about never setting foot in a store on Boxing Day. I prefer to relax and enjoy the holiday. Shopping has never been my idea of fun!

We have a very nice Christmas yesterday at my mother-in-law's house, just the three of us.

Here's Gordon carving up the turkey (which led a happy life on my friend Judy's farm until it gave the ultimate sacrifice) with his Mom keeping watch.

Mom's wee Christmas tree in the window! As you can see, we had a white Christmas. It snowed yesterday and the roads were slippery. Yay for snow tires!

Yay for camera timers!

Here's Gordon with the  Caramel Apple Trifle we made together. The recipe is at the bottom of this post if you're interested. It was VERY yummy. Gordon made the poundcake from scratch the day before.

Yummy caramel-apple topping on whipped cream!

No pineapples were harmed in the making of this trifle.

While the turkey was being carved, I made use of the fabulous wrinkle-erasing mood lighting in the living room.

Do I look as smug as Santa?

The poor sap driving the salt truck had to work on Christmas day!

Whatever you did yesterday, I hope you had a great time. Santa was exceedingly good to me and brought me a Macbook Air!


Caramel Apple Trifle

Tender apples, enveloped in an irresistible amber caramel sauce, give this trifle a seasonal twist. Golden Delicious apples are ideal because they keep their shape when cooked.
This recipe makes 16 serving(s)
Nutritional information available online.


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • Vanilla Custard recipe* (below)
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated nutmeg
  • 1 frozen pound cake, thawed
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Calvados, brandy or apple juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) apple juice


Caramel Sauce: In heavy saucepan, heat sugar with 1/3 cup (75 mL) water over medium heat, stirring, until dissolved. Bring to boil; boil vigorously, without stirring but occasionally brushing down side of pan with pastry brush dipped in cold water, until rich amber colour, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Holding saucepan at arm's length and averting face, add apple juice; whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup (175 mL), 3 to 5 minutes. Let caramel sauce cool. Set aside 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the sauce in small bowl; cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, melt half of the butter over medium-high heat; sauté half of the apples until light golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining butter and apples; let cool.

Strain any juice from apples; stir juice into custard along with nutmeg. Set aside 8 apple slices in bowl; cover and refrigerate. Slice cake into generous 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Line bottom of trifle bowl with one-third of the slices, overlapping slightly; drizzle with one-third of the Calvados. Top with one-third each of the apples, caramel sauce and custard. Repeat layers twice, ending with custard. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
(Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

In bowl, whip cream. Spread over trifle. Garnish with reserved apples.

Reheat reserved caramel sauce in microwave at High until runny, 10 to 15 seconds, or in saucepan over medium heat, about 2 minutes. Drizzle over trifle.

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: December 2003


Vanilla Custard

Alone or with a flavour add-in, this five-ingredient custard is the delicious, creamy base to all our trifles.

This recipe makes 5 serving(s)


    8 egg yolks 4 cups (1 L) milk 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (125 mL) cornstarch 1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla


In bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the milk, the sugar and cornstarch.

In heavy saucepan, heat remaining milk over medium heat just until bubbles form around edge; gradually whisk into yolk mixture. Return to pan and cook, stirring, until mixture is thick enough to mound on spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.

Strain through fine sieve into clean bowl; stir in vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
(Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)


  1. how BIG was that soddin trifle!!!
    and there was ONLY THREE of you xxxx

  2. John, let's just say we'll be eating trifle until New Year's eve!!!!

  3. The trifle looks wonderful. I may set that recipe aside for a later time, when I need my caloric intake increased - that would not be in the immediate future.

    We did my Christmas pudding, and added chopped figs to it - WOW. I kind of did it on a whim, now I know why they plaintively screamed "Now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding.....We won't come until we get some....." It was wonderful.

  4. WOW. Now THAT was a trifle.

  5. Mmmmm, can I have some?!?

  6. That is one delicious trifle!!! John took the words out of my mouth!

  7. We would like some, too.

    And Herman is just doing fine.

  8. Anonymous5:21 pm

    The Caramel Apple Trifle recipe for "16 servings" sounds about right for the three of you, and was the version followed judging from the picture. Or did a platoon of Marines join you for dessert :)?

  9. Looks like a great day - I wish we just had a dusting of your snow.

  10. Ha, Gordons mom was keeping her distance, while he was handling the electric knife! :o)

    Oh, that Trifle sounds, and looks good. I used to make Raspberries Trifle for Christmas, but not this year, and everybody was asking for it! I'm going to give this one a try too.

  11. Musical Gardener, your pudding sounded pretty darn great!

    Ahab, indeed it was. It lingers in our fridge, though. Two people can only eat so much!

    Sightings, if only you were closer I would be happy to share!

    Willie, so glad Herman is doing well.

    Andrew, Gordon did his best to imitate a platoon of marines!

    Wandering Cat, I hate green Christmases!

    Monika, Gordon's Mom was SMART to stand back. ;)


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!