Chill Time: 6 hours or overnight
6 to 8
Maple Pumpkinseed Brittle (recipe follows)
In large glass bowl, whisk sugar with cornstarch; whisk in milk until smooth. Microwave, on High for 4 to 6 minutes or until boiling and thickened, whisking twice during cooking. Stir a little into egg; whisk back into sauce. Microwave, on Medium (50%) for 30 to 60 seconds to thicken. Stir in vanilla.
In bowl, season pumpkin with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Whisk in custard until smooth. To prevent skin from forming, place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until cold, a few hours.
To assemble trifle, cut cake into 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes. Place half in 8-cup (2 L) glass dish. Spoon half of the custard over top. Repeat with remaining cake and custard. Cover and refrigerate until serving, 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream and Maple Pumpkinseed Brittle.
Maple Pumpkinseed Brittle:
Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 mL)
In 2-cup (500 mL) heavy glass measure, combine pumpkinseeds and butter. Microwave on High for 1 minute to melt butter and lightly toast seeds. Stir in maple syrup; microwave on high until mixture reaches hard-crack stage (300°F/150°C) on candy thermometer, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not stir. Pour immediately onto ungreased cookie sheet. Let cool and harden. Break up into pieces. Store in airtight container.
• Puréed squash or sweet potato can be used in place of pumpkin.
• The pumpkinseed brittle can be made ahead.