|10 ounces||Angel loaf cake|
|⅓ cup||Strawberry jam or jelly|
|⅓ cup||Cream sherry OR orange juice|
|Custard sauce (cf. below)|
|¾ cup||Whipping cream|
|2 tablespoons||Powdered sugar|
|1 teaspoon||Vanilla extract|
|2 tablespoons||Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)|
Mix 1-½ tbsp. corstarch with ½ cup milk. Heat 1-¾ cups of milk with ¼ cup of sugar in a heavy saucepan or double boiler, just to the point of boiling. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cornstarch mixture until it's smooth. The cornstarch mixes better and without lumps if the milk is bone-chilling COLD.
Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It will thicken *fast*, so pay attention. Simmer for three minutes and remove from the heat.
Beat in 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 3 beaten egg yolks. Cover and chill.
Split the angel loaf cake into 3 layers. Spread the jam between the layers and reassemble the layers. Cut the cake into 2-inch cubes.
Arrange the cubes in a 2-quart serving bowl and sprinkle with the sherry or orange juice. Wash the strawberries and pick out 8 to 12 berries for later garnishing. Remove the hulls from the rest of the berries and slice. Spoon the berries over the cake.
Pour the chilled Custard Sauce over the berries. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for an hour or more. Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until it forms *stiff* peaks. Spread the cream over the custard.
Garnish the top with whole strawberries (the green hulls against the red and white background is particularly pleasing to the eye).
Sprinkle the entire thing with the almonds, if you have them. Chill and serve within a few hours.
Don't try to save this too long. It will get soggy before long and the strawberries will get mushy. So eat it all at once.
(TIP): Make the Custard Sauce first. Cover and refrigerate it until it's ready for use.
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