Made with Framboise

Serves: 12
For the apricot custard

2 ½ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons apricot brandy, or to taste
½ cup crème fraîche
½ cup well-chilled heavy cream
6 large fresh apricots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

For the red berry mixture
4 cups strawberries, hulled
2 cups, raspberries, picked over
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons Elephant Isl Framboise, or to taste

For the blackberry mixture
2 ½ cups blackberries, picked over
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Elephant Isl Framboise

Lemon Almond Sponge Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ cup finely ground blanched almonds
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

The Magic Mixture
¼ cup Elephant Isl Apricot Dessert Wine
raspberries and blackberries for garnish plus additional raspberries as an accompaniment if desired

Make the Lemon Almond Sponge Cake:
 Line a greased jelly-roll pan, 15 ½ by 10 ½ by 1 inches, with wax paper, grease the paper, and dust the pan with flour, knocking out the excess. Into a bowl sift together the flour, the salt, and the baking powder and whisk in the almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the egg yolks, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the zest until the mixture is very thick and pale, beat in the lemon juice, the vanilla, and the almond extract, and beat the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted. Add the flour mixture and beat the batter until it is just combined. In another bowl with cleansed beaters beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks, beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat the whites until they form stiff peaks. Whisk one third of the whites into the batter to lighten it and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake it in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a rack, and discard the wax paper. Invert the cake onto another rack and let it stand, uncovered, overnight to dry out. Cut the cake with a serrated knife into ¾-inch cubes.

Make the apricot custard
In a heavy saucepan scald the milk with the vanilla bean. In a metal bowl whisk together the egg yolks, the sugar, the cornstarch, sifted, and a pinch of salt. Add the milk mixture to the yolk mixture in a stream, whisking, and transfer the mixture to the pan. Boil the custard, whisking, for 1 minute, or until it is thick and smooth, strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl, and stir in the brandy. Chill the custard, its surfaced covered with plastic wrap, for at least 6 hours or overnight. Whisk in the crème fraîche, fold in the heavy cream, beaten to stiff peaks, and the apricots, and chill the apricot custard, covered.

Make the red berry mixture
In a blender or food processor purée 2 cups of the strawberries, sliced, and 1 cup of the raspberries with the sugar, the lemon juice, and the framboise until the mixture is smooth, force the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids, and stir in the remaining 2 cups strawberries and 1 cup raspberries, both crushed lightly.

Make the blackberry mixture
In a blender or food processor purée 1 ½ cups of the blackberries with the sugar, the lemon juice, and the framboise until the mixture is smooth, transfer the purée to a bowl, and stir in the remaining 1 cup blackberries, crushed lightly.

Assemble the trifle
Arrange one third of the cake on the bottom of a 3 ½- to 4-quart trifle bowl, sprinkle it with one third of the brandy, and pour half the red berry mixture evenly over the cake. Spoon one third or the apricot custard evenly over the red berry layer, top it with half the remaining cake, and sprinkle the cake with half the remaining brandy. Pour the blackberry mixture evenly over the cake, spoon half the remaining custard over it, and top the custard with the remaining cake. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining brandy, pour the remaining red berry mixture evenly over it, and spoon the remaining custard evenly over the red berry layer, covering the red berry layer completely. Chill the trifle, covered, for at least 12 hours or overnight, garnish it with the berries, and serves it with the additional raspberries.