Brown Sugar Pudding 1/3 cup cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 cups whole milk 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 4 tablespoons margarine or butter 6 large egg yolks 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Cake and Fruit 1 frozen pound cake (10.75 ounces), thawed 1 cup strawberries, hulled and each cut lengthwise in half 3 ripe medium bananas (about 1 1/4 pounds), sliced Topping 3/4 cup pecan halves 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon margarine or butter 1 cup heavy or whipping cream 2 cups whole strawberries
. Prepare brown sugar pudding: In medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix cornstarch and salt; gradually whisk in milk until blended. In 4-quart saucepan, heat sugar with margarine to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently; boil 1 minute. Gradually whisk milk mixture into sugar mixture (the sugar mixture will harden). Increase heat to medium-high; cook until sugar mixture dissolves and mixture boils, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute, stirring. 2. Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, with wire whisk or fork, beat yolks lightly. While constantly beating with whisk, gradually pour about half of hot milk mixture into yolks. Pour yolk mixture back into milk mixture in saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring, 2 minutes or until mixture thickens and reaches a temperature of at least 160 degrees F. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla; set aside. 3. Assemble trifle: With serrated knife, cut pound cake lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In 4-quart deep glass bowl or glass trifle dish, place 1 row of cake pieces, crust sides up, around side of bowl. Arrange cut strawberries, cut sides facing out, in a row above cake pieces. Place enough cake pieces in a layer to cover bottom of bowl. Pour 1 cup warm pudding over cake pieces; top with half of banana slices and 1 cup pudding. Place half of remaining cake pieces over pudding; top with 1 cup pudding and remaining banana slices. Top with 1 cup pudding, remaining cake pieces, and remaining pudding. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate trifle 6 hours or overnight. 4. Prepare topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans in 8- by 8-inch metal baking pan; bake 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. 5. In 1-quart saucepan, heat sugar with margarine to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add pecans to saucepan; stir to coat. Return pecans to same baking pan and arrange in even layer. Cool pecans completely in pan on wire rack. 6. To serve, in small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Remove plastic wrap from trifle. Spoon whipped cream on trifle; top with whole strawberries and pecans.