CHRISTMAS 2012…..Day 7…….there has to be trifle!

One of my favourite bloggers is Sylvia of  Finding Noon,  and a couple of days ago she  was asking what foods scream “CELEBRATE” at you and in my reply.  I completely forgot  SHERRY TRIFLE.

This very English dessert is a MUST at Christmas or any other celebration..  There are lots of variations and every family must have it’s own recipe.  We even have our own trifle dish, passed on from MY mother, who probably got it from hers.

trifle dish 002

The principle of this indulgent dessert is always the same.  Sponge and fruit soaked in sherry or other spirit covered in creamy vanilla custard and topped with whipped cream and then garnished with chocolate, almonds or some crunchy biscuit like amaretto

It can be as traditional or exotic as your imagination will go.  Pineapples soaked in rum, covered withchocolate  flavoured custard.    Cherries, soaked in Kirsch  and  chocolate swiss roll.    Bananas, soaked in coffee and  toffee flavoured custard are all alternatives.

Some family recipes have jelly over the fruit and sponge but us purist think that is not really traditional

So here is my family recipe.

  • Packet of trifle sponges, and small amount raspberry jam,    or a jam filled swiss roll.  ( the sugary coating helps to prevent the soaked sponge go soggy)
  • 400g Tinned rasberries or strawberries.  (other fruits can be used like pineapples, bananas  for a more exotic version)
  • Around 150ml sweet sherry.  (for a non alcoholic version I use sherry or rum flavouring and mix with orange juice)
  • Either  400ml tins of good quality creamy custard

or make your own custard                                               

To make custard,   heat ½ pint (275 ml)  cream or milk  in a small saucepan. Blend three egg yolks, 1,oz/25g sugar and 1 x 5ml teaspoonful cornflour together thoroughly in a basin, and when the cream/milk is hot, (NOT boiling) pour it over the egg mixture, stirring the whole time.   Now return the custard to the saucepan and stir over a very low heat until thick,  remove  it and allow to cool

For the topping…

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • toasted flaked almonds
  • chocolate flake

or Amaretto biscuits. or any other decoration your imagination will find.


Spread the trifle sponges with the jam and  break up the trifle sponges or slice the jam swiss roll and arrange on the bottom of the dish.

Soak the sponges with the sherry or sherry flavoured orange juice.

Drain the fruit and arrange over the sponge making sure some fruit is visible through  the sides of the dish. Leave to soak for about half an hour in the fridge.

Spread the cooled custard over the fruit and sponge mixture

Then top with the whipped cream

Crumble the chocolate flake thickly over top and scatter with the flaked almonds or crumbled amaretto biscuits

Chill before serving.

As it seems the world is going to end tomorrow.  I might just make one for my last meal.

Love Denise


10 thoughts on “CHRISTMAS 2012…..Day 7…….there has to be trifle!

  1. Oh Wow – this is something that is right up my alley – sounds and looks delish – we have to bring dessert to the family Christmas Eve celebration – I just might tackle this one – I too have a dish passed down from my Mother that I could use to make this – I think it would be a hit – and would be fun to tell them that the recipe came from England!!! Thanks for posting!


  2. Thanks for sharing your family recipe. I love trifle but have never made it myself. By the way, the two Jamie Oliver “15 Minute Meals” that I ordered as gifts for our children after reading your blog post arrived today. With any luck, they’ll feel inspired to make some of the recipes while they’re visiting!


    • I am sure your children will find the book very useful. Make sure they realis though that unless they have chopping skills like a chef, they will take longer than15 minutes. Love Denise


  3. Your trifle dish looks very similar to one that we always used to make the holiday fruit salad with whipped cream in my family. Interesting that yours has a fleur-de-lis design. Are you sure that you’re not French?


    • LOL Mary Kay! I always wondered that too. I have researched my family tree and I am 100% Anglo Saxon, more English than the Queen!
      My mum didn’t know where it came from either. She said it had just always been around even when she was a child.
      Probably some ancient swag, gained from
      battles with the French!


  4. Pingback: Christmas is not just for puppies! | denisefrombolton

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