The veg patch is napping under half a foot of freshly laid compost and dreaming of Spring at the moment. Apart from the beetroot. The beetroot seem endless. Likewise, the kale. The purple sprouting broccoli is still deciding whether to sprout or not and is in full hibernation mode in the meantime. So my gluts are coming from other quarters besides the garden at the moment. Namely, my mother. Who has bestowed on me the gift of leftover Christmas cake. Lots of it.

She always makes one (complete with teeth-breaking icing which I love – fondant is dirty word in our family), has the odd slice over Christmas and then, come the New Year, she banishes all leftover Christmas cake from the house and foists it onto me, preferring that I gorge on it rather than my father.

And I am happy to oblige. 

It’s just there’s quite a lot of it. I took one batch home with me on Boxing Day, then another hunk of it was deposited at the weekend. A veritable glut! And we know how to treat gluts here at G&G HQ…

So here’s my suggestion for using up your glut of leftover Christmas cake:


Christmas Cake, Pear and Winter Spices Trifle

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2

Christmas Cake, Pear and Winter Spices Trifle

A delicious, warming winter trifle that will use up your leftover Christmas cake.

    For the pears:
  • 125ml rich sweet sherry
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 2 small pears
  • For the custard:
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 5g plain flour
  • Pinch mixed spice
  • 50ml double cream
  • 50ml milk
  • To assemble:
  • 140g leftover Christmas cake
  • 100g double cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • Flaked almonds, to serve
  • Mixed peel, to serve
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the sherry over a medium heat.
  2. Peel and halve the pears then add them to the sherry syrup and simmer for 15-20 minutes until just soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. To make the custard, mix the egg yolk, sugar, flour and mixed spice in a saucepan then gradually whisk in the cream and milk. Set over a medium heat and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir continuously otherwise it'll go all lumpy. Transfer to a cool bowl and set aside until needed.
  4. To assemble, lift the pears out of the syrup, slice into neat little wedges and arrange them in a fan on the base of your (very natty) trifle glass. Crumble the Christmas cake on top and pack it in a little. Drizzle 2 tbsp of the pear cooking liquid over the cake for extra kick. Now spoon the custard on top and finish with the whipped cream, almonds and mixed peel. If you're feeling uber-retro you can pop a glace cherry on top too.
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