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To prepare pears: Peel, halve and core pears. In a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven, combine wine (or juice) and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the pears. Place parchment or a plate on top of the pears to keep them submerged in the liquid. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until pears are soft (knife inserted goes in easily). Remove the pears from the liquid using a slotted spoon. Cool pears to room temperature. Slice pears, if desired. Return the poaching liquid to a gentle boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until liquid is syrupy and has reduced to 2 cups. Stir in cranberries. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans (or a size close to the diameter of the trifle dish). Line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Grease and flour pans. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick. In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until hot. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Slowly stir hot milk into egg mixture. Stir in 1 cup flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Divide the batter between the pans; spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, prepare hazelnut cream: In a medium mixing bowl, beat mascarpone, whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick. Stir in 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Cover and chill until ready to assemble trifle.
Next, prepare streusel: Preheat oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter and salt; mix until crumbly. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool. Place streusel in a large sealable plastic bag. Crush with a rolling pin, leaving some large pieces. Stir in hazelnuts.
In a 9-inch-diameter straight-sided trifle dish, layer the pears and the reduced poaching liquid, reserving some pear slices and cranberries for the top.
Place one cake layer on the pears. Spoon three-fourths of the hazelnut cream on the cake.
Top with the second cake layer. Layer on the remaining hazelnut cream, the streusel topping and the reserved pears.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to 24 hours.