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Brandied Peach, Ginger, and Sweet Corn Cornbread Trifles

Peaches and sweet corn grow together, so therefore they must go together, right? That was my reasoning when I picked them up at the market, figuring that I would combine them somehow once I got home.

I asked Dave to make his fabulous cornbread for the trifle, and he did, with a bit of extra sugar and kernels from the fresh corn I had just brought back with me. The pastry cream is based on a Jacques Torres recipe, but with ginger thrown in for an extra kick. The brandied peaches are from an Epicurious parfait recipe. And a few fresh macerated cherries on top, because stonefruit goes with stonefruit.

Brandied Peach, Ginger, and Sweet Corn Cornbread Trifles
Ginger Pastry Cream (recipe below)
Sweet Corn Cornbread (recipe below)
Brandied Peach Compote (recipe below)

Assemble in layers. Top with sweet cherries macerated in sugar, if you so desire.

Ginger Pastry Cream
2 C whole milk
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
2-3″ fresh ginger
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Whisk the yolks, cornstarch, and 1/4 C sugar together until pale, creamy, and fully combined.

Put the heavy cream and 1/4 C sugar into a thick-bottomed pot. Scrape the pulp from the vanilla beans into the pot, then throw the pods in, too. Chop the ginger into large-ish chunks and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil, whisking, then remove from heat.

Pour half the cream mixture in with the eggs, whisking, to temper them. Pour the tempered eggs into the pot with the rest of the cream and keep on whisking as you bring the mixture back up to a boil. It will thicken very quickly right before it boils.

Once it reaches a boil, keep on cooking and whisking for another 2 minutes or so. Do not fear – you can get away with this without the eggs curdling. Perhaps it is the cornstarch what does it? Creams usually curdle when boiled because the egg yolk proteins bind together too firmly, forcing liquids out, so that you end up with clumpy bits and liquidy bits. Cornstarch is another thickener, which I would expect must interfere with that process. Anyways, this step is important, as it will cook away the flavor of the cornstarch and allow the ginger and vanilla to more fully infuse.

Remove from heat, and strain into a bowl. (This will remove the vanilla bean, ginger chunks, and any pieces of cooked egg.) Chop the butter into small chunks and stir in until fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap, make sure the wrap makes contact directly with the surface of the cream so that a skin cannot form.

(Remember: you can make further use of the scraped-out vanilla beans by rinsing them, drying them, then putting them in a sealed container of sugar to create vanilla sugar.)


Sweet Corn Cornbread
Bowl A
Kernels chopped off from 2 ears of boiled fresh sweet corn
1/2 C yellow corn meal
1 C white flour
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
Bowl B
2 eggs
3 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 C milk

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Mix together bowls A and B, respectively. Pour bowl B into bowl A. Mix, but not too much.

Butter and flour a 8″ x 12″ shallow pan. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until done.

Brandied Peach Compote
1 lb fresh ripe peaches
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp brandy
1/2 C sugar

Blanch the peaches, then peal and pit them. Cut them into small chunks, and toss with the lemon juice and 2 tbsp brandy.

Cook the sugar with a splash of water until it is nicely golden, then add the peaches in their liquid and continue to cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the peaches are tender. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1 tbsp brandy. Chill.

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9 Responses to “Brandied Peach, Ginger, and Sweet Corn Cornbread Trifles”

  1. sam says:

    Hmmm – what an interesting and inspired combination. I am not a big fan of cornbread, but I just learnt a corn cake recipe (no flour) which I really like and I bet it would be great in this. I need to experiment with it a bit more – I found the husks to be a bit fibrous so I want to try and make a sieved version.

  2. Tanna says:

    Oh, my goodness – this looks like genius to me. As soon as my kitchen is back on line I really want to try this!

  3. novalis says:

    This is my dad’s cornbread recipe (which he claims came from my maternal grandmother, but I think this is unlikely), sweetened and with corn added. Reduce the sugar to 1/4th cup for a bread that goes well with nearly any meal.

  4. K@w. says:

    Oh noes!!!1! You made this without me!

  5. Alanna says:

    OH WOW OH WOW … you definitely get the “Veggie Venture Award of the Month” (invented, just now, for you!!) for using vegetables in a creative way. I’m drooling …

  6. That sounds absolutely amazing! And I don’t even like trifle. I do love cornbread however, although I’ve never thought of using it this way. I tend to stick with the simple on that front- plain with butter. Thanks for the idea, I’ll have to give it a try.

  7. Danielle says:

    sam – What is the corn cake like? Every time I’ve tried to make cornbread without flour, it has turned out awful. Maybe I’m simply too much of a yankee to handle it, but. If you have a recipe that works, I’d love to hear it.

    Tanna – Oh, no, what’s wrong with your kitchen? I didn’t notice any mention of any problem on your blog.

    novalis – Yes, indeed. (Mwah.)

    K – Look, you gotta brave the bears to get the goods.

    Alanna – Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed! You know, your comment surprised me, because in making this I entirely forgot that corn counts as a vegetable. (Yeah, I know, I know.)

    Raspberry Sour – Thanks! If you try it, let me know how it goes.

  8. [...] Desserts and Other Sweets: Fruit Apricot Fruit Leather Ravioli Apricot Hazelnut Squares Apricot Marzipan Tartlets Baked Rummy Plantains with Cinnamon Gelato Banana Caramel Tart Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls Blueberry Oatmeal Crisp with Lime Ice Cream Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars Brandied Peach, Ginger, and Sweet Corn Cornbread Trifles Cardamom Meyer Lemon Créme Brûlée Bubbles Cranberry Leek Strudel Cranberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake Fig and Date Basteeya Grapefruit Almond Tart Lemon Chocolate Chunk Cookies Lime Syllabub Pear and Basil Tart Pumpkin Nests Rosemary Currant Shortbread with Cumin Ginger Apples Sour Cherry Almond Milk Sorbet Sour Cherry Pie [...]

  9. Wahoo says:

    Thank you for sharing!

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