Saturday, May 28, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Zuppa Ingles, Neopolitan Trifle

I hope you found my Ma's Cannoli to be a nice simple recipe.
Something you can whip up on short notice.
Or on a hot summer day.

We had a couple of below-freezing nights last week.
I still have hope that Spring will come.
And Summer.

Call me a cock-eyed optimist.

Cannoli is an easy recipe, using items usually in the house.
Wish I could say the same for Carmela's Zuppa Inglese.  

In the Holidays chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with The Sopranos, Carmela has a recipe for Neopolitan Trifle, Zuppa Inglese

I know... Zuppa Inglese translates into English Soup.
Some say it's a little joke to tease the English about their love of rum.
Some say there was so much rum in the first Zuppa Inglese that it had to be eaten with a soup spoon.
Some say it was first served to Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton in the 18th century.

There are many variations.
This is Carmela's.

Brace yourself.
This is not a quicky.
Not by a long shot.
And it requires stirring boiling liquids.
Not fun in the Summer.

Not as healthy as Ma's recipe, either.
We're talking all-butter pound cake, heavy cream, plus 6 large egg yolks.

What can I say?
Tony uses bullets, garrots, knives.
Carmela has her own way of getting rid of people.

I wonder...
How many servings would it take to get rid of Janice?
Did Janice binge and purge?
Nah...  Once down, her food stayed for the count.
Maybe Janice built up a tolerance...

                              Zuppa Inglese 

Place a mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to chill.

In a large heavy saucepan combine
2 Cups milk
1 Cup heavy cream
1/2 Cup sugar
Stirring to dissolve the sugar, bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk
6 large egg yolks
1 Cup milk

Sift into the egg / milk mixture
1/2 Cup flour
Whisk until smooth.
Gradually beat in all of the hot milk mixture.

Pour the mixture back into the large heavy saucepan. 
Return to the stove.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil.
Reduce heat and cook 30 seconds more.
Remove from heat and stir in
2 teaspoons vanilla

Use the custard immediately or transfer to a bowl, 
cover with plastic wrap pressed against the custard,
and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

In a large serving bowl, make a layer of 1/3 of
12-ounced all-butter pound cake, cut into thin slices
Sprinkle the slices with 
1/4 Cup Marsala, cherry liqueur or rum
Spread with
1/3 Cup sour cherry preserves
Pour on half of the custard.

Repeat with a second layer of cake:
Sprinkle the slices with 
1/4 Cup Marsala, cherry liqueur or rum
Spread with
1/3 Cup sour cherry preserves
Pour on half of the custard.
Top with remaining cake slices.

In the chilled bowl, whip until soft peaks form
1 Cup very cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Spread the cream on top of the cake.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, garnish with
fresh berries or shaved chocolate

Like I said, not something to whip up on short notice.
Especially in the Summer.
Yes, Summer will come.
At least for a few days.

Would I make Zuppa Inglese again?
My Ma's Cannoli is simpler and healthier.
And way cooler to make on a summer day.

Another recipe down.  Nineteen more to go. 

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