Makes 8 to 10 servings. Custard layered with ladyfingers and berries.
1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milks
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1  package (3 oz) ladyfingers
2 tablespoons sherry
2 cups sliced strawberries or raspberries or both
1  cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, com starch and salt in 3
-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir at least half of hot mixture gradually into egg yolks. Stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute. Reduce from heat Stir in margarine, vanilla and almond extract. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Split ladyfingers lengthwise into halves. Layer half of ladyfingers, cut sides up, in 2 quart glass serving bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sherry. Layer half of strawberries and half of cold egg yolk mixture over ladyfingers. Repeat Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 8 hours. Beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in chilled bowl until stiff. Spread over dessert and sprinkle with almonds.
To prepare pudding, mix together flour, spices, baking soda and salt Stir in fruit, walnuts and bread crumbs. Mix together suet, brown sugar, eggs and 1 tablespoon brandy. Stir into flour mixture. Pour into well-greased 4 cup mold. Cover with foil. Place mold on rack in Dutch oven. Pour boiling water into Dutch oven to rack level. Cover and boil over low heat until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 3 hours. (Add boiling water if necessary.) Meanwhile, to prepare Hard Sauce, beat together margarine, powdered sugar and brandy until smooth. Remove mold from Dutch oven. Unmold. Heat 1/4 cup brandy until warm. Careful­ly ignite and pour over pudding. Serve with Hard Sauce.
Makes 8 to 10 servings. Change to fit whatever fruit you have on hand.
1 pound cake 3/4 cup strawberry jam 1 (1 pound, 14 oz) can pitted apricots, drained and pureed
1  (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained 1/2 cup Marsala or cream sherry
2 cups vanilla custard
1  cup heavy cream 1/4 superfine sugar
Split cake into thin layers, spread with jam and half the apricot puree, and sandwich back together. Cut into bars, about 1 by 2 inches, and pack into a 2 quart serving dish, arranging oranges in and around the cake. Pour Marsala over top, spread with remaining apricot puree and cover with custard. Cover and chill 2 hours. Whip cream with sugar until stiff. Frost on top of trifle and decorate with candied fruits, if desired.
HEIRLOOM FRUITCAKE Makes 2 loaves and 1 tube cake. A tried and true fruitcake recipe.
2 pounds candied cherries
2 pounds candied pineapple
1/2 pound citron
1/2 pound candied orange peel
1/2 pound candied lemon peel
2 pounds pitted dates
2 pounds golden raisins
1 pound dark raisins
I  pound currants
11  oz shelled pecans flour
1 pound butter or margarine 1 pound brown sugar 1 dozen eggs
1  tablespoon vanilla juice of 1 large lemon juice of 1 large orange
2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 1/2 grape juice or wine light corn syrup additional fruits and pecans
Makes 8 servings.
Fragrant with spices and moist with dried fruit Pudding:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup cut-up candied fruit peel
1/4 cup cut-up candied cherries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1  cup ground suet (4 oz)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon brandy 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
Hard sauce: 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1  cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brandy