This is one of those desserts that you just can not stop eating. I had it at a gathering one thanksgiving while visiting friends in Florida back in the 80's it was an old Jello recipe that I have kind of kept stored in my head and adapted it to fresher ingredients.. The original recipe was made with jello vanilla pudding and coolwhip which it can still be but it comes out very very sweet. It is always a crowd please and looks really impressive on a holiday table.
NOTE: I will add pictures next time I make one, which will be very soon...
1Drain The oranges and pineapple and set a side or put into the frig until you are ready to assemble the trifle.
2Spread the coconut onto a lined cookie sheet and toast at 350 for about 20-30 minutes; Watch the coconut and make sure you turn and fluff it for an even toast. Once the color desired, let it cool then set it aside in a bowl.
3Make the whipped cream; In a cold bowl with cold beaters add the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla together and whip in high to almost butter stage; Note: You want this to be a stiffer whipped cream because you will be mixing pastry creamy with it and you do not want soup.
4Make the Pastry Cream: Pour 4 cups of milk into a medium sized sauce pan, and in 1/2 cup of sugar and stir. In a medium bowl beat together the remaining sugar, corn starch and eggs until well blended and set aside. Cut 6 tbsp of cold butter, place them in a bowl and set aside. Set all of the pastry cream ingredients next to you at the stove so you do not have to walk away from the stove, Over medium heat, bring the milk to 110 degrees F, siring occasionally. When the milk reached 110, ladle about 2 scoops of the hot milk slowly into the egg mixture and whisk it in than add the whole egg mixture into the milk pan while whisking; keep whisking constantly. While whisking, begin to add the 6 tbsp of butter one at a tine; do not add it all at once or you will bring down the temperature of the cream. Keep stirring until all of the butter is in and stir until the cream starts to thicken. When it starts to thicken, pull it off the heat and keep string. Repeat the "On the heat off the heat" process until the pastry cream comes to a pudding consistency. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove the cream from the heat and place into a cold bowl and cool completely.
5While the pastry cream is cooling, in a medium bowl combine one package of : Homey Maid Graham Cracker crust, one stick of melted butter and 1/4 cup of sugar and stir together well. You should have the consistency of wet sand. Wrap and set aside...
6Gather all of your components together: Fruit, coconut, whipped cream, pastry cream, and gram cracker crust. You can also make some extra whipped cream for the top of the trifle as well.
7Assembly: first - fold together the pastry cream and whipped cream in a large bowl, add in the coconut and pineapple and fold into the cream mixture. Secondly - using a trifle bowl or any other deep clear bowl place a layer of gram cracker on the bottom and build a edge of the side of the bowl about 1/4". Line the bowl with the orange wedges; Trick, if you slide the down the side of the bowl it will create a bit of suction and keep then from falling over. Fill the center with the cream and fruit mixture so that it comes over the oranges about 1/2 inch if not more; spread evenly. Repeat at least 2 more times and top off with whipped cream and a sprinkle of coconut.
8Refrigerate for one hour or over night before serving.