Citrus-Mint Trifle


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1 box Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix
4 cups milk, almond milk or lite coconut milk, divided
1 cup coconut sugar, divided
1 pkg (3/4 oz) fresh mint, divided
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 tsp fresh lime zest
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk solids (see NOTE)
2 oranges, sectioned and cut into 1/2 pieces & drained (optional)


1. Heat oven to 350°F

2. Prepare an 8-inch cake layer according to package directions. Remove from the pan; cool completely. Cut the cake into 1/2-inch cubes

3. Meanwhile, heat 3-1/2 cups of the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar and 36 larger mint leaves over low heat until steaming

4. Bruise mint leaves (to release flavor) by pressing onto bottom of pan with back of a wooden spoon

5. Once milk is steaming, remove mint leaves with slotted spoon, pressing leaves against spoon to extract all the mint flavor

6. Whisk the eggs yolks, arrowroot starch, lime zest, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 cup milk and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until smooth and well blended

7. Gradually add about half of the hot milk mixture in a steady steam from ladle into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return to saucepan.  Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.

8. Continue boiling 2 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping sides of pan

9. Remove from heat; stir in lime and lemon juices. Cool 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent skin from forming

10. Pour into bowl; place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of filling and refrigerate until completely cooled and thickened, about 4 hours

11. Just before serving, reserve the 3-5 of nicest mint leaves for garnish and finely chop the remaining leaves. Beat heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form; gently fold into filling mixture with chopped mint

12. Place a third of the toasted cake cubes in bottom of trifle bowl; top with a third of the filling mixture and a third of the orange pieces (optional). Repeat layers two more times

13. Garnish with reserved mint leaves; serve. Refrigerate any leftover trifle

Note: If you are using coconut milk solids instead of heavy cream, refrigerate 2 cans (14 ounces each) full fat coconut milk at least 8 hours. Do not shake the can before or after refrigeration. Spoon solid coconut milk from top part of can into small bowl. Do not add any of the liquid from the can. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, Fold into filling mixture with chopped mint. Continue as recipe directs. (For this recipe, do not use lite coconut milk; it will not whip.)

MOJITO-STYLE TRIFLE: Omit lemon zest, lemon juice and oranges. Increase lime zest to 2 teaspoons and lime juice to 6 tablespoons. Prepare as directed layering just the cake cubes and filling (no oranges). Garnish with mint leaves.

WANT MORE JUICE FROM A LIME AND LEMON? Roll lime or lemon on counter. Microwave on HIGH 10 seconds before cutting and juicing.

HOW TO KEEP A BOWL FROM MOVING: Place a damp cloth under the bowl to allow you to whisk while pouring hot milk without the bowl moving.

HOW TO SECTION AN ORANGE: Sectioning means removing skin, pith and membranes, leaving only the juicy parts that are easy to eat. With your sharpest knife, cut off the top and bottom of orange. Set the orange cut-side down on cutting board. Cut off the skin, pith and outer membranes in curved strips, working your way around orange until no skin and outer membranes remain. Then, cut down to middle of orange on the right side of an inner membrane (the separates the sections) and then on the left side. Loosen section and remove from the orange; discard any seeds. Continue until all sections of the orange have been removed.