Light as Air Jeweled Trifle
- 2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers
- 1⁄4 cup peach or apricot preserves
- 1 package (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- 8 ounces frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
- 2 kiwis; peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks, well drained or 1⁄2 of a fresh pineapple cut in chunks 1⁄2 pint large strawberries, sliced lengthwise, retain 1 whole strawberry with leaves for garnish
Note: Skim milk and lite whipped topping can be used in this recipe
Prepare pudding mix according to package directions, using the 2 cups of milk and the almond extract specified above. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken.
While the pudding thickens, place a layer of 9 ladyfinger halves, split sides down, in center bottom of a 3 quart trifle bowl or other straight-sided glass bowl.
Combine preserves with 2 tablespoons water; heat until softened; stir to blend. Brush 1/3 of the preserves over top the ladyfingers.
Stand a side-by-side row of kiwi slices around outside edge of bowl. Whisk 2/3 of the whipped topping into the pudding. Carefully spoon 1/3 of the pudding mixture on top of ladyfingers, creating an even layer that holds fruit in place. Scatter any remaining kiwi slices on top of pudding, keeping them away from sides.
Repeat layer of ladyfingers and 1/3 of the jam. Stand a row of pineapple chunks around outside edge alternating wide or curved part of pineapple up and down. Spoon 1/3 of the pudding mixture on top of ladyfingers, then press remaining pineapple into pudding surface.
Set aside about 18 nice strawberry slices and 1 whole strawberry with leaves and stem for garnish. Make a final layer of ladyfingers and jam. Add the remaining pudding and strawberry slices. Cover entire top out to the glass edge with a layer of whipped topping. Stand the 18 strawberry slices in a side-by-side row in the whipped topping pressed around the outside edge of the bowl.
Break one strip of ladyfingers in half (3 ladyfingers). Place this strip into toaster. Set toaster at about medium color. Ladyfingers should be about the color of medium toast when toasting is complete. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the 3 toasted ladyfingers apart then cut each half diagonally, beginning and ending just below the curve, to form 6 long pointed ladyfinger pieces. In center of trifle, insert toasted ladyfingers, pressing the pieces about half way into the whipped topping at a 45o angle with curved surface facing
upward, like a circle of flower petals. Lay the reserved strawberry with stem and leaves on its side in the middle of the ladyfinger flower petals. Cover and chill overnight.
12 to 16 servings