For the custard:
1. Heat the milk in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan to a bare simmer.
2. Meanwhile, place egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. Add sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla; whisk until smooth and slightly thickened.
3. Slowly add 1 cup of hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly and pouring slowly to prevent curdling. Then add the egg-milk mixture back to the saucepan, whisking the entire time.
4. Cook custard over low heat, stirring in a figure-eight motion with a wooden spoon until custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon; about 10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and pour custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Cool the custard to room temperature.
To assemble the trifle:
1. Using a 2-quart decorative glass bowl (preferably with straight sides), layer half of the cake cubes in bottom of bowl.
2. Drizzle half of reserved liquid from the canned fruit over cake. Spoon half of jam over cake. Layer with half of the fruit and half of the custard. Repeat layering with remaining cake, liquid, jam, fruit and custard.
3. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, whip cream with powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Dollop over trifle; top with almonds.
Recipe Created by Regional Chef Piper Davis of Grand Central Bakery, Portland, OR. © Organic Valley