1 lb. angel food cake
1 lb. strawberries
1 1/2 c. blueberries (opt.)
2 c. vanilla pudding or custard (recipe follows or use instant mix)
2 T. sugar or flavored coffee syrup
Slice the cake into 1-inch cubes and set aside. Rinse, hull, and slice the strawberries and mix with 2T sugar or (vanilla) flavored coffee syrup and set aside. Make the pudding or custard and chill, if necessary.
Assemble the trifle: In a trifle dish or other large, deepish dish that can contain all the cake pieces with a little room to spare, line the bottom with about half of the cake. Spread half of the pudding or custard over top, then half the strawberries. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the blueberries, if using. Add another layer of cake, the rest of the pudding or custard, and the rest of the strawberries. Decorate with the remaining blueberries. Serve with whipped cream for a total bliss.
Vanilla Custard Sauce (adapted from epicurious.com)
1 t. vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean but who has those lying around?)
2 c. half-and-half
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, bring the half-and-half (and the vanilla bean, seeds removed, if using) just to a boil and remove from heat. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until well combined. In a small drizzle, add about 1/4c of the half-and-half to the eggs and beat together well. Repeat until the half-and-half is combined with the eggs.
Rinse out the saucepan and add the egg mixture. Over low heat and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (to help settle any bubbles), heat the egg mixture until it begins to thicken to the consistency of chocolate syrup or thinnish pancake batter; remove from heat immediately. Do not allow to boil or all is lost. Alternatively, the original directions state an instant-read thermometer should read 175F, but watch it when making at high altitudes. You can strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve if you used the bean or if you think a skin on top of the custard will be a problem.
As soon as you’ve removed the custard from heat, stir in the vanilla extract. It’s warm enough to burn off the alcohol, but heating the extract does destroy the taste a little.
For the purposes of this trifle, let the custard cool for a while, stirring occasionally with a whisk to keep the custard smooth and relatively skin-free. When it’s about room temperature, use as described above.