Strawberry Crown Trifle

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1  cup sifted cake flour
1  teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2  cup milk
2  tablespoons butter or margarine
2   eggs
1  cup granulated sugar
1  teaspoon vanilla
3  pints fresh strawberries
3  tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3  cup strawberry or orange liqueur or orange juice
1   recipe Fluffy Filling
   Powdered sugar
   Whipped cream
   Fresh mint sprigs

1. Grease and flour two 8x1-1/2-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small saucepan heat the milk and butter or margarine until butter or margarine melts; keep hot. In a large mixing bowl beat whole eggs with electric mixer on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add the 1 cup granulated sugar, beating constantly at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Add dry mixture to egg mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in hot milk mixture and vanilla. Turn batter into prepared pans. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until wooden toothpicks inserted near the centers of cakes come out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on racks.
3. Set aside a few strawberries for garnish; crush enough remaining berries to make 2 cups. Stir the 3 tablespoons sugar into crushed berries. 

4. To assemble, split cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Fit 1 layer into bottom of a 2-quart souffle dish (8 inches in diameter); spread 1 cup of the crushed strawberries over the top. Top with second cake layer; sprinkle with half of the liqueur or orange juice. Spread with Fluffy Filling. Place third cake layer on top; spread remaining crushed berries over. Sprinkle cut side of fourth cake layer with remaining liqueur or orange juice; place cake, cut side down, over berries in dish. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, sift powdered sugar over trifle. Top with whipped cream, reserved berries, and mint. Makes 12 servings.
Fluffy Filling: In a saucepan combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 cup milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until bubbly. Slowly stir 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into 2 beaten egg yolks. Return mixture to pan. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter or margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate until completely chilled. Just before assembling trifle, in a small bowl beat 1/2 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form; fold into chilled mixture.  

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens

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