The world is shrinking. How to know? Here in California, I can buy fresh blueberries at Thanksgiving. They’re grown in Chile, the upside down seasons to ours. You can also buy frozen blueberries any old time. They work beautifully in recipes like this heavenly Pumpkin Blueberry Trifle. Hardest part? Wrangling a serving bowl big enough to showcase this stunner.
Blueberry things really haven’t been Thanksgiving fare in our household, but food blogger Erika Kerekes set out to motivate a gaggle of fellow bloggers to give the idea a whirl this season. Her “Very Blueberry Thanksgiving” event was sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Organizations like this tend to have funny corporate names, but their job is simple – help sell more blueberries by providing fresh ideas for using them.
If I were to choose what to make FIRST from Erika’s huge menu that day, it would be the Pumpkin Blueberry Trifle. It tasted like the essence of Thanksgiving – spicy pumpkin bread layered with creamy pudding, blueberry sauce and blueberries. And then layered again. It was eye-popping. Serves a large gathering (10 to 12!). And it didn’t hurt to learn (and savor) what paired well wine-wise with each course — hint: strategically stick to wines from Rioja. Of Spain. So good.
Pumpkin Blueberry Trifle ~ Recipe by Erika Kerekes for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canola or grapeseed oil
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 32-ounce bag frozen blueberries
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 4 cups prepared vanilla pudding
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
1. Make the pumpkin bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, 2 cups sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Sprinkle the salt, flour, baking powder, and baking soda on top of the pumpkin mixture, then stir with a large spoon just until combined. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour in the batter. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then crumble the pumpkin bread into large chunks with your fingers. (Alternatively, you can buy a large loaf of prepared pumpkin bread.)
2. Make the blueberry sauce: Put the frozen blueberries, remaining ½ cup sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer about 1 hour, until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Just before assembling the trifle, whip the cream with an electric mixer (or by hand if you’re sturdy) until it is fluffy and glossy.
4. Assemble the trifle: In a large glass bowl, put down a layer of pumpkin bread crumbs, a layer of pudding, and a layer of blueberry sauce. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of crumbs. Pile the whipped cream on top and scatter the fresh blueberries on the whipped cream. Let sit at least 2 hours before serving to give everything a chance to meld.
Note: Trifle can also be made in small glasses for individual servings.