The entire United Kingdom is celebrating today. At this very moment, Queen Elizabeth II might be offering her iconic wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, along with some of her family. And here am I, an American citizen by birthright (and stateside), celebrating along with all those “cousins” across the pond. Why? I can’t help myself. Frankly, I’m a bit of an anglophile, so there’s that.
I love afternoon tea, and darling cottages in the Cotswolds, and all the parks anywhere in the UK.
The costumes in the Victoria and Albert, black London taxicabs, and drinking tea in a train traveling anywhere in the UK. Ducking into a pub when it starts to rain (just like a local, I tell myself), and wandering through the purse collections/food stalls/toy department at Harrod’s/Fortnum and Mason/Liberty of London.
And in some way, I also love the Queen. I know her blood isn’t blue, and that she has an incredible amount of financial (and therefore, staff) support that I will never have, but I love her indomitable poise, and her sense of right, even when it’s not easy (witness her handling of her son and grandson’s latest media crises). I can aspire to that, myself.
I can also make the lemon and amaretti Swiss roll trifle that was crowned the official pudding for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. So, in recognition of this momentous celebration, that’s what I did. To be completely honest (why am I telling you this?), I was also asked to bring a pudding (British word alert!) to my Bible Study’s end-of-year tea celebration at our leader’s home.
So, I was able to make something that I really wanted to try, and I had an accepting, gracious audience to destroy the evidence, just in case – you know – it didn’t turn out that well. But it did, and I would make it again, with a few recipe alterations for an American kitchen.
You can find the actual recipe here: https://www.royal.uk/platinum-pudding-recipe, or below. The pictures I’ve included are my own, and my recipe alterations/comments are in italics.
Lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle
For the Swiss rolls
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 100g/3½oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting (I used 100 g or ½ cup of granulated sugar.)
- 100g/3½oz self-raising flour, sieved (I used 7/8 cup of all-purpose flour, 1¼ t baking powder, and ¼ t salt.)
- butter, for greasing (I used canola cooking spray.)
For the Lemon Curd
- 4 large free-range egg yolks (I used 3 large, whole eggs.)
- 135g/4¾oz granulated sugar (I used 1 c sugar.)
- 85g/3oz salted butter, softened (I used ½ c unsalted butter, melted.)
- 1 lemon, zest only (I used 3 lemons, zested.)
- 80ml/2½fl oz fresh lemon juice (I used 1 cup fresh lemon juice.)
(I used my go-to made-in-the-microwave lemon curd recipe from allrecipes.com – https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/70036/microwave-lemon-curd/ My reasoning was this: I wanted to use whole eggs – not just egg yolks, and if I ended up with a little extra, then I’d use it on my toast the next morning. Actually, I used up all the lemon curd in the Swiss rolls, so the extra amount was not a problem.)
For the St Clement’s jelly
- 6 gelatine leaves (I used 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin. Each envelope contains 1/4-ounce or 7 g.)
- 4 unwaxed lemons
- 3 oranges
- 150g/5½oz golden caster sugar (I used 3/8 c granulated sugar and 3/8 c golden brown sugar.)
For the custard
- 425ml/15fl oz double cream (I used whipping cream, not extra-heavy whipping cream.)
- 3 large free-range egg yolks
- 25g/1oz golden caster sugar (I used 1/8 c granulated sugar and 1/8 c golden brown sugar.)
- 1 tbsp cornflour (I used 1 T cornstarch.)
- 1 tsp lemon extract
For the amaretti biscuits
- 2 free-range egg whites
- 170g/6oz caster sugar (I used 7/8 c granulated sugar.)
- 170g/6oz ground almonds (I used almond flour.)
- 1 tbsp amaretto
- butter or oil, for greasing
For the chunky mandarin coulis
- 4x tins mandarins, around 300g each
- 45g/1¾oz caster sugar (I used ¼ c granulated sugar.)
- 16g/½oz arrowroot (2 sachets) (I used 2 T plus 1 t cornstarch.)
- ½ lemon, juice only
For the jewelled chocolate bark
- 50g/1¾oz mixed peel (I used the orange and lemon peels from making the St Clement’s jelly above; I did not discard them but chopped the peels up in small dice and covered them with granulated sugar and let them “dry” in a small bowl until I needed them.)
- 1 tbsp caster sugar (optional) (I did not use this.)
- 200g/7oz white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 600ml/20fl oz double cream (I used whipping cream.)
To make the Swiss rolls, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. (If you have an Aga, use your baking oven. Otherwise, preheat your oven to 350˚ F.)
Grease and line the 2 Swiss roll tins with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the egg and sugar together with an electric hand whisk for approximately 5 minutes or until light and pale. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour. Divide between the two tins and bake for 10–12 minutes or until the sponges are lightly golden and cooked through.
Sprinkle some extra caster sugar (granulated sugar) on two sheets of baking paper then turn the sponges out onto the sugared paper. Peel off the paper from the underside and, while still warm, roll them both up from the short end into a tight spiral using the paper to help. Leave to cool.
To make the lemon curd, place the egg yolks, granulated sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Whisk until combined and whisk continuously as the curd cooks until thickened. This should take about 15 minutes. Pour into a clean bowl and set aside to cool.
If making microwaveable lemon curd, combine the whole eggs, sugar, melted butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a microwaveable bowl, and whisk until well-blended. Heat on high in microwave at 1-minute intervals, stopping to whisk mixture each time until lemon curd is thick and coats the back of a metal spoon. This usually takes me about 15 mins. Then allow curd to cool, cover with saran wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the St Clement’s jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. (I softened Knox unflavored gelatin in ½ c cold water.)
Using a vegetable peeler, peel 6 strips from a lemon and 6 strips from an orange and put these into a saucepan with the sugar and 400ml/14fl oz water. (I used 10 fl oz with the peels and sugar.)
Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and discard the peel.
(I did not discard the peel here but diced it, coated it with granulated sugar, and set it aside to “dry.” It would become the mixed peel that I could not find in the local grocery store.)
Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and stir into the pan until dissolved then leave to cool. (Add the softened gelatin and ½ c water to the citrus-peel flavored syrup in the pan.) Squeeze the lemons and oranges, so you have 150ml/5fl oz of both lemon and orange juice. Stir into the pan then strain the jelly through a fine sieve into a jug and chill until cool but not set. (I did not strain the jelly.)
To make the custard, place the cream in a saucepan over a gentle heat and bring it up to simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and lemon extract, then gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl whilst whisking continuously. (Cornflour in the UK is cornstarch in the US.) Immediately return the whole lot back to the saucepan and continue whisking over a gentle heat until the custard is thick and smooth.
Pour the custard into a jug or bowl, cover the surface with greaseproof paper and leave to cool.
To make the amaretti biscuits, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. (Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.) In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until firm. Mix the sugar and almonds gently into it.
Add the amaretto and fold in gently until you have a smooth paste.
Place some baking paper on a baking tray and lightly brush with butter or oil. Using a teaspoon, place small heaps of the mixture approximately 2cm/¾in apart, as they will expand during cooking.
Bake for approximately 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (Do not be tempted to eat too many of the amaretti before using them – this recipe needs all of them.)
To make the chunky mandarin coulis, strain two tins of mandarins.
Discard the juice and put the fruit into a saucepan with the sugar and heat gently until broken down. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, slake the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons cold water then add to the warm mandarins. (I substituted cornstarch for arrowroot, but otherwise followed the directions.) Add the lemon juice and mix well before pouring into a large bowl. Strain the remaining two tins of mandarins and add the fruit to the bowl then leave to cool completely.
To make the jewelled chocolate bark, if the peel feels wet or sticky, roll in the caster sugar to absorb any moisture. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Pour the white chocolate onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and scatter over the mixed peel. (“Scattering” my diced fruit peels meant separating them one by one and laying them on the warm chocolate; it was slightly laborious but strangely calming.) Leave to set then break into shards.
To assemble, unroll the cooled Swiss rolls and spread with the lemon curd. Roll back up again and slice one into 2.5cm/1in slices and place upright around the bottom edge of the trifle dish so the swirl is visible. Slice the other Swiss roll into thicker pieces and use these to fill the bottom of the dish, ensuring the top is roughly the same level as the slices that line the edge. Use off-cuts of sponge to fill any gaps.
Pour the St Clement’s jelly over the Swiss roll layer and set aside in the fridge to completely set. This will take approximately 3 hours. Once set, pour over the custard then arrange a single layer of amaretti biscuits, keeping a few back for the top. Pour over the mandarin coulis. In a large bowl, whip the double cream until soft peaks form then spoon this over the coulis. Crumble over the reserved amaretti biscuits and decorate with the chocolate bark shards.
As a shortcut for this recipe, you can use ready-made versions for most of the components and just make the Swiss rolls and mandarin coulis from scratch. For the lemon curd, use 300g/10½oz ready-made lemon curd. Instead of the St Clement’s jelly, use 1 packet of lemon-flavoured jelly and follow the packet instructions to make 568ml/1 pint. For the custard, use 500ml/18fl oz ready-made custard. For the biscuits, use 100g/3½oz ready-made amaretti biscuits.
Instead of making the jewelled chocolate bark, you can finish this trifle by scattering over the reserved amaretti biscuits, mixed peel and 50g/1¾oz white chocolate chunks.
(I think that this recipe took a lot longer to make than I’d anticipated – about 6 hours! But it was impressive when assembled. And flavorful but not overly sweet. Most of us at the tea party agreed that we would take seconds – especially paired with a cuppa.)
Finally, congratulations and best wishes always to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.