There’s nothing stuffy about our delicious twist on this traditional English dessert. Our Gluten-free Bread Trifle with Grilled Peaches & Vegan Vanilla Custard is a luscious exploration of contrasting layers of sweet, creamy, soft, and summery. We adapted Minimalist Baker’s Coconut Cream Pie recipe to make a trifle-worthy vegan vanilla custard for this dish. Grilling fresh peaches adds a sophisticated edge to their bright flavour, helping them lift the silky richness of that custard to new heights. But you can enjoy this dish long after peach season’s over—we included a variation for caramelized frozen peaches so you can dive into layers of delight all year long.
For the Vegan Vanilla Custard:
- In a medium pot, add the first three ingredients for the vegan vanilla custard. Slowly whisk in the oat milk (or plant-based, allergy-friendly milk of your choice) to avoid lumps.
- Heat on medium-low, stirring gently and constantly until the custard reaches a thick, pudding-like consistency. You’ll know it’s right when the path of your spoon stays open for a moment as you stir.
- Remove custard from heat, transfer to a medium-sized bowl, and put in the fridge to cool completely. When cool, fold in the coconut whip, and return the mixture to the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your gluten-free bread trifle.
For the Grilled Peaches:
- Wash your peaches. Using a sharp paring knife, cut your peach in half, then gently twist the halves in opposite directions. If you’re using a freestone peach variety, the pit should come out cleanly. If you’re using a clingstone variety, one half of the peach should come free, leaving the pit in the second half. To remove the pit from the second half of the peach, use the tip of your knife to cut around it as close to the pit as possible until it can be pulled out. Or use a melon baller or small cookie scoop to remove the pit, leaving as much of the peach intact as possible.
- Mix coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the cut side of your peach halves with melted non-dairy butter, and place cut-side-down on a medium hot grill. Grill for about 4 minutes or until nice grill marks form. Brush melted non-dairy butter on the uncut side of the peaches, then flip with tongs. Brush the grilled cut side (now facing up) with more melted non-dairy butter, then sprinkle each peach half evenly with cinnamon sugar mixture. Cook until peaches are tender, but still hold their shape (about 4 minutes more, or 8 – 10 minutes total).
- Remove peaches from the grill, and allow to cool while you prepare your other ingredients. Before assembling your trifle, slice cooled peach halves into 1/2-inch slices.
For Caramelized Peaches (Without a Grill):
- If using fresh peaches, follow step 4, then cut peaches into 1/2-inch thick slices. If using frozen peach slices, use from frozen. (Do not use canned peaches).
- Melt non-dairy butter in a skillet over medium heat. Swap coconut sugar for brown sugar or organic cane sugar, and add to the pan with ground cinnamon. Gently melt to form a light caramel.
- Place peach slices in the pan in a single layer. Cook peach slices until softened, flipping mid-way to coat slices with the caramel, and allow both sides of the slices to become sticky and caramelized.
For the Sweet Crumb Topping:
- Cut the crusts off all slices of Millet & Chia bread. Cut crustless bread slices into small cubes (about 1-inch) and aside until ready to assemble the trifle.
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350℉. Combine crusts and non-dairy butter in a bowl, and gently mix until crusts are evenly coated. Transfer buttered crusts to a parchment lined baking sheet, and toast until crisp and brown, about 15 minutes. (Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Transfer crusts to a food processor, and pulse until crumbs are a rough, sandy texture. Add cinnamon and sugar, and pulse just enough to combine. (Do not over process).
To Assemble the Gluten-free Bread Trifle:
- Choose your serving vessel (either a large glass bowl, or glasses for single-serving parfaits). Gather your cooled vegan vanilla custard, grilled (or caramelized) peaches, bread cubes, coconut whip, and crumb topping. However you serve it, divide your peaches, custard, and bread cubes into portions so you’ll have at least two full layers of each in your trifle.
- Begin building your trifle with a single layer of grilled peach slices at the bottom of your serving vessel/s. Taking care not to mess up the sides of your dish, use a spoon to top your first layer of peaches with a layer of vegan vanilla custard. Spread the custard to the edge of your dish to cover the peaches. Next, make a single layer of bread cubes on top of the custard.
- Repeat the layering process until all your grilled peaches, custard, and bread cubes have been used. Top your trifle with an even layer of coconut whip. Sprinkle with sweet crumb topping.
Serve & enjoy!