My mother-in-law, aka the Sherpa, gave this recipe to me. It was the start of my real bonding with the man who was to become my husband. We were on very polite, early dating behavior when we both offered to help clear the table after this insane dessert had been served. Within 30 seconds, the pair of us were hiding in the kitchen, spoon-deep in the crystal bowl, finishing this off. I knew then it was true love.
The first thing the Sherpa does is make the gingerbread, which frankly, seems to me to be absolutely bonkers. The Sherpa is a wonderful cook, but she and I cook very differently. She likes fine French food, and I like throwing things together, very easily, and eating family-style. We threw a dinner party for her last year, and I asked casually, whether she had any recipes she might like us to cook. “Oh yes,” she said, her face lighting up. “I’ll bring them over tomorrow.”
The next day she appeared with a sheath of papers. It was about 3” thick. Apparently, while I was reading it, all the color drained from my face.
The Sherpa makes this trifle entirely from scratch. I would strongly advise a gingerbread mix, adding the fresh and crystallized ginger to give it some zing.
If, however, you are like the Sherpa and you still want to do it from scratch, even though I will think you are nuts, I have included the recipe for the gingerbread.
Reprinted with permission from GOOD TASTE, NAL Books, 2016. By Jane Green. Photo credit: Tom McGovern.