Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
by Ellen Harcourt

Image Serves: 8-10 people. Preparation time: 1 hour. Chill time: 7-24 hours.

Make the Gingerbread according to the directions on the package, bake and let cool or refrigerate ½ hour. Cut into bite-sized pieces when cool. Mix the Pumpkin Pie Filling, Sugar and Spices together. Set Aside. Make the Pudding using the Half and Half liquid. Refrigerate 1 hour. Mix the Filling and the Pudding together.

In a Trifle Bowl (large glass bowl) layer these alternately:
⅓ Gingerbread Pieces
⅓ Pudding/Filling Mixture
⅓ Cool Whip®
Repeat twice more and top with the remainder of the Cool Whip®. Sprinkle the top with crushed Gingersnap Cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-24 hours. Serve cold by spooning out.

"Trifle" - English origin about 1596, it's a dessert made from thick custard, fruit, sponge cake and usually whipped cream. The ingredients are arranged in layers. Alcohol soaked bread is the original base. Thus the name "Fool" or "Foole" was also used in describing a "Trifle". The Scots use Drambuie or Scotch Whisky and call it "Tipsy Laird". Port, Sherry or Madeira wine is often used in southwestern Europe. In the southern US, an American variation is called "Tipsy Cake". A Creole version is known as "Russian Cake" but it's baked then moistened with rum. The word "Trifle" comes from the Middle English "Trufle", which in turn derives from the French word "Trufe", which means "whimsical" or "of little importance", but it's clearly a British culinary creation since the French call this same dish, "Mousse a l'anglaise" ("English Whipped Pudding").

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