Chef's Recipes

Trifle with madeleines, lemon curd and peaches

Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone shares her showstopping Christmas dessert.

By Nadine Ingram
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 55 mins cooking (plus cooling, setting, resting)
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Trifle with madeleines, lemon curd and peaches

"My go-to Christmas Day dessert has always been trifle," says Ingram. "Tiramisù Natalizio, the Italian dessert, uses madeleines soaked in rum, and zabaglione, and has inspired the use of madeleines here." Begin this recipe at least a day ahead to make the curd and allow the trifle to rest.

Ingredients

  • 500 gm firm ricotta
  • 350 pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks
  • 100 ml white rum, Cointreau or peach liqueur
  • 100 ml milk
  • Candied clementine or cedro, and edible flowers (optional), to decorate
Lemon Curd
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 160 gm caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 150ml lemon juice (from 3-4 lemons)
  • 160 gm softened unsalted butter, diced
Madeleines
  • 110 gm unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (½ cup) beaten eggs (about 3 small eggs)
  • 90 gm caster sugar
  • 110 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Roasted peaches
  • 6 ripe peaches, halved and stones removed
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Method

  • 1
    For lemon curd, whisk eggs, egg yolk and sugar in a bowl to just combine. Add lemon zest and juice and whisk to combine. Place bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (don't let bowl touch water), and cook, whisking every minute, until curd is the consistency of thick whipped cream (12-16 minutes) Remove from heat and cool until just tepid. Add butter, a little at a time, whisking to incorporate between additions. Cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set (4 hours).
  • 2
    For madeleines, grease a 12-hole large madeleine tin and dust with flour, shaking out excess. Heat butter, honey, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Cool. Meanwhile, gently whisk eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl, sift in flour and baking powder, and continue to whisk gently until a smooth batter. Add cooled butter mixture and stir to combine well. Refrigerate batter for 2 hours to rest.
  • 3
    For roasted peaches, preheat oven to 180°C. Place peaches cut-side up on a large baking tray and drizzle with orange juice. Combine sugar and vanilla, then sprinkle over fruit. Roast peaches, turning halfway, until softened (30-35 minutes). Remove from oven, cool briefly, then when cool enough to handle, peel (discard skins).
  • 4
    Increase oven to 190°C. Fill madeleine moulds to 5mm from the top, reserving remaining batter for another batch. Bake until tops have formed humps and spring back when pressed lightly (9-10 minutes). Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto a wire rack. Cool tray, then grease and flour as before, and bake another batch with remaining batter (there'll be enough for about 6).
  • 5
    To assemble trifle, whisk ricotta until smooth, then fold in whipped cream and cooled lemon curd. Combine rum and milk in a bowl, add madeleines and turn briefly to soak. Place 6 madeleines in the base of a 3.5-litre glass trifle bowl, spoon over a quarter of the lemon-curd cream, place 4 peach halves on top and drizzle with a third of the peach syrup. Repeat layering, finishing with a layer of cream. Top with candied fruit and flowers. Trifle can be served the day it's made, or refrigerated overnight for flavours to meld.
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  • Author: Nadine Ingram