Traditional English Trifle #christms #dessert
This one’s the real deal. Though we love making trifles all the year round, we only ever make this one at Christmas – which keeps it in the very special occasion bracket. We have discovered that frozen English raspberries are better than imported fresh ones at Christmas time, and that bog-standard trifle sponges absorb Madeira better than home-made.
For the custard:
- 1 dessertspoon cornflour
- 425ml (15fl oz) whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 25g (1oz) golden caster sugar
For the filling:
- 1 dessertspoon golden
- caster sugar
- 2 medium-sized bananas
- 6 trifle sponges
- 2 tablespoons seedless
- raspberry jam
- 150ml (5fl oz) Sercial Madeira (or dry sherry)
- 275g (9¾oz) frozen raspberries
For the topping:
- 50g (1¾oz) toasted flaked almonds
- You will need a 1.75 litre (3 pint)glass bowl.
- 275ml (9¼fl oz) whipping cream
- It’s best to start this with the filling, so slice the sponges in half lengthways, spread one half with jam and place the original half back on top.
- Cut each one into three mini sandwiches and place these sideways up in the bowl (they should all fit into a single layer). Now stab them with a small knife and carefully and slowly pour the Madeira over all of them. Then leave on one side so the sponges absorb the liquid – tip the bowl from time to time to make sure there are no pools of liquid in the bowl.
- Now make the custard. First whisk the cornflour, egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Then heat the cream in a small saucepan and, when it comes up to simmering point, pour it on to the egg mixture, whisking as you pour. Now quickly pour the whole lot back into the saucepan, add the vanilla and whisk over a medium heat until it just begins to bubble and thicken (don’t worry, it won’t curdle – if it does look at all grainy, it will become smooth again when whisked off the heat). Pour it back into the bowl and leave to cool.
- The raspberries should be placed in a saucepan straight from the freezer, together with the sugar. Then cook them over a gentle heat, stirring them around only until they have collapsed and defrosted and the juices start to run. This will take about 5 minutes, then let them cool.
- To assemble the trifle, tip the bowl from side to side to make sure all the Madeira has soaked into the sponges, then peel and slice the bananas. Strain off any excess juice from the raspberries.
- Then scatter them over the sponges, followed by the bananas.
- Now pour the custard all over. Finally, whip the cream till thick, spoon it over and spread it around, and scatter the almonds all over. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill until needed.