You need Autumn Booze to make Hedgerow Trifle, so a year before you want to eat the trifle……
Lay down damsons in brandy just as you would in Summer Booze. Don’t use good brandy, any moderately priced one will do very well, but avoid stuff that takes the vanish off wooden surfaces. Make a small nick in each of the damsons to allow the juice to run free.
When you eventually rack it off you will have a deep purple liquid that smells heavenly. You can use this in lots of ways apart from drinking it of course, try adding a spoonful to a plum sauce, sweet or savoury.
Or, you can make Hedgerow Trifle.
You will need
A hazelnut sponge cake
Half a pint of poached blackberries
First the sponge cake. If you can, buy it (no sense in making work for yourself), but if like me you have trouble finding a brand that actually tastes of hazelnut make your own.
The weight of two large eggs in butter and sugar creamed together until pale and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and add them slowly.
The weight of the eggs in s/r flour, but take out one heaped tablespoon of the flour and replace it with one heaped tablespoon of toasted ground hazel nuts. You can add more hazelnut if you like, but if you do add some baking powder to help the rise.
Pour into a greased cake tin and baked in a moderate oven until done.
Next the blackberries.
I cheat. Put them in a microproof bowl with sugar to taste, cover and blast for 3 mins Take them out, stir and blast again for another three minutes. They need no more water than what clings to them after you gave them a quick wash.
You have poached blackberries, no saucepan to wash up and no indeliable purple splashes down the white top you forgot to take off before you started cooking. I have aprons, excellent chef style aprons and one day I will remember to wear them every time I cook.
(If you are feeding children, cook the fruit over the heat adding the damson brandy to them, this will burn off the alcohol.)
Find a nice big bowl and break up the sponge cake in the bottom, spoon the blackberries and a few spoonfuls of the damson brandy over the top and leave to soak for a couple of hours.
Cover with a layer of custard and top that with another of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Decorate with whole toasted hazelnuts or scattered chopped ones over.