Party food

Last month was Lucy’s granddad’s 80th birthday so we had a big old fashioned party for him. He’s 80 and going strong but, as a lot of his family are also in their twilight years, the party was held in the afternoon one Sunday the week or so before his birthday.

The immediate family would put on the food. A spreadsheet was devised by Clare (she bloody loves a spreadsheet) and we all said what we’d make. I said I’d make trifle and also sausage rolls. As Pop (that’s what we call Lucy’s grandad) is a pescitarian I also volunteered to make veggie sausage rolls.

I’d never made veggie sausage rolls before but I’d eaten plenty of cheese and onion rolls to know that they’re tasty. I had a look for recipes and found one that took my fancy here on Kitchen Sanctuary. I didn’t make the pastry because, come on, I haven’t got time to make puff pastry! I found that the measurements for the filling in the recipe just about filled 2 rolls of ready made puff pastry. They looked and tasted fantastic.

party - cheese rolls

The sausage rolls I’d make a few times before so didn’t use a recipe. What I tend to do is buy some good quality, high pork content sausages. This time round we used Sainsburys Ultimate Pork Sausages. I removed them from the skins and mixed in some onion, garlic and sage which I’d fried lightly in some butter. I find that 400g of sausage meat is enough for 2 rolls of ready made puff pastry. These work like a charm every time and they’re really easy to customise for different flavours.

party - sausage rolls

The trifle was the real fun part and took a bit of tweaking. I’d made trifle but this time I wanted to make the cake base and the custard from scratch (although I wasn’t going to make jelly from anything other than a packet). To make things really interesting I combined a couple of recipes with my previous experiences of making trifle.

I used Madeira cake for the base instead of the sponge fingers. I used this recipe for the Madeira cake. I actually made 2 thinking one wouldn’t be enough! In the end I made 2 trifles!

For the custard I used this from Genius Kitchen recipe and doubled the ingredients. I was really worried about the custard because I’d never made it before, but it turned out really well. The trick is to add the hot milk really gradually to the egg/sugar mix.

The jelly I used was just the classic Hartleys strawberry jelly. I got 3 packets initially but had to go back and buy 2 more as it wasn’t enough.

To construct the trifle I laid the sliced Madeira cake at the bottom of 2 bowls, added some frozen berries, filled with the jelly mix and then topped off with more Madeira cake. I put this in the fridge to allow the jelly to set and then topped with the cooled custard. This was left in the fridge overnight to let the custard set. In the morning, I whipped up 500ml of whipping cream with a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar and then put this on top of the trifle. I decorated with some fresh strawberries and raspberries.

party - trifle

I was really happy with the reception of the dishes I had made. I think they may become regulars!

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