Lychees show up in our house by the bag load at the start of the summer season every year. We usually buy them in homestead where there are lots of farms and they are sold by the pound. Lychees in the Chinese/Jamaican culture is a summer staple. We would sit down and eat bags at a time until Our “Belly Buss” patois for stuffed!
If you have never tasted a lychee before the taste is truly unique. The flesh of the lychee is firm. It is sweet and has floral notes that delight all the senses. The bright red exterior skin is rough, not completely smooth with fine jagged points, Not sharp but course to the touch. The skin breaks easily when you bite into it. There is a technique to bite just enough on the top to break the skin to allow the lychee skin to be removed exposing the white fleshy fruit. You then bite into the lychee down to the seed and the flesh will come off exposing the brown seed. You can then squeeze the bottom of the lychee skin popping it into your mouth and work the flesh off of the seed completely.
So many wonderful things can be made with Lychee. Lychee cake, lychee Ice Cream, lychee cheesecake, and lychee Martinis are a few things that can be made with this delicious fruit. Growing up, my dad being English, we used to have English trifle all the time. My mom would make it under my dad’s “direction”. It was chock-full of liquor and sweet poundcake with traditional creme anglaise and berries. I have attempted to make my own on some family occasions with a Chinese twist. It is semi-homemade, which takes less time but does not scrimp on flavor or authenticity. It is a Lychee, Mandarin Orange Trifle.
- 1 loaf of Entenmann’s pound cake.
- 1 tin or 2 cups of fresh Lychee.
- 1 container of Cool Whip
- 1 tin of mandarin oranges
- 1-2 cups of fresh raspberries
- Dark Rum and or Cointreau or Grand Marnier
Cut up pound cake in cubes. Layer some cake in the bottom of of a deep glass dish or trifle bowl. Sprinkle liquor on cake. Put a layer of cool whip on top of the cake and then lychees and mandarin oranges. Repeat the layers and on top decorate with oranges and raspberries. Make a day ahead fir the liquor get absorbed and marinate into the trifle. Enjoy!