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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Start the trifle the day before you want to serve it. Pour 600ml of the cream into a saucepan along with 75g of the caster sugar and the vanilla. Warm gently over a low heat until steaming, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, soak three of the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 mins until softened. Make sure to drop the gelatine leaves into the water one by one to prevent sticking.
When the gelatine leaves are soft, squeeze out the excess water and add to the warm cream mixture, whisking until the gelatine has dissolved. Whisk in half the yogurt – the mixture will start to thicken as the yogurt cools the cream. Pour the panna cotta mixture into a trifle bowl (ours was 20cm in diameter and 15cm deep). Chill for at least 2 hrs until the panna cotta has set.
Meanwhile, halve 10 of the peaches and remove the stones. Arrange the peaches cut-side up in a saucepan. Tip in the honey, cardamom pods, orange juice, orange blossom water (if using) and 75g caster sugar, then pour over enough water to just cover the peaches. Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit neatly over the peaches and place it directly on the surface of the liquid to stop the peaches from bobbing around too much as they cook. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-30 mins until the peaches are soft enough to squash against the side of the pan with a spoon (the timing will depend on the firmness of the fruit). Leave to cool in the syrup.
When the peaches have cooled, scoop onto a plate using a slotted spoon. Slip off the skins and discard them. Strain the peach syrup into a measuring jug – you should have about 600ml, but top up with orange juice if needed. If you have more than 600ml, you can keep the excess in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week to use in drinks.
Warm the peach syrup in a saucepan over a low heat or the microwave until just steaming. Meanwhile, soak the remaining three gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 mins until soft. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatine, then stir into the hot syrup until dissolved. Set aside to cool until just warm.
Cut the madeira loaf into 2-3cm cubes and arrange over the panna cotta layer in the trifle bowl. Pour over the peach syrup and chill for another 1-2 hrs, or until the syrup has set into a jelly.
Arrange the poached peaches over the jelly layer, placing any pretty coral-pink pieces against the glass side. Pour the custard over the peaches, then chill until you’re ready to serve – we recommend chilling for at least 2 hrs, but it can also be chilled overnight to get ahead.
When you’re ready to serve, beat the remaining 300ml double cream with the icing sugar to soft peaks using an electric whisk. Swirl though the remaining yogurt. Spoon the cream mixture over the custard layer, starting around the edge of the bowl, then filling in the middle. Halve, stone and finely slice the remaining two peaches, then arrange the slices on top and drizzle with some honey. Sprinkle over the chopped pistachios and nestle in shards of honeycomb, if you like.