English All-Seasons Trifle & UK Adventures

Sep 11, 2013

English All-Seasons Trifle & UK Adventures

“Did it hurt getting your ears pierced?” asks Julia, 9.
“A lot?”
“A bit,” I tell her and wait for the follow up. When can she get her ears pierced (12), would I get anything else pierced (no), why do people get anything pierced (cultural fashion, trends, expression).
“Is it true you held Auntie Jules’s hand when she got her nose pierced?”
What can I say? It was the 80s, it was at Kensington Market in London, there were crushed velvet leggings and headbands involved, and I could at least report back to my parent that I wasn’t the one with a nose stud. And… Jules and I could soften the blows by making dessert/pudding for everyone to eat while they eyed her new adornment.

We walked along the market to eye the food – meals prepped and pretty, treacle puddings you could heat and serve, and fruits begging to be made into trifles, which at that time (15 years old) seemed terribly chic and tricky to make. Wrong on both counts, but delicious and no piercing required.

Traditional trifle is served in a large, glass bowl so the layers can be easily seen. We usually add sherry to make it more tasty. There are good sherry products available at Marks & Spencer Wine including the Rich Cream Sherry and the Dry Fino Sherry. Instead of going to Berry’s London Wine Shop on a cold day, we can easily order online. Sherry trifle, as we call it, is best served with tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon. For a non-alcoholic dessert, you can substitute the sherry with pomegranate juice like the PomeGreat Pure Plus. 


English All-Seasons Trifle

This is a quick dessert, especially if you use instant pudding rather than custard below. For autumn, try sliced apricots or apples that are pre-soaked in vanilla and sherry. This recipe omits the sherry or orange liqueur. If making for grown ups, add a few tablespoons of sherry to the berries or fruits.

1 angel food cake or pound cake

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 pint heavy cream

3 cups mixed berries or sliced apples

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the custard layer (note: use pudding mix if you can't be bothered):

4 egg yolks

dash salt

1/3 cup sugar

1cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

Make the custard. Gently whisk the egg yolks and add in the sugar and salt, whisking until a bit thick and ribbony. Scald milk, let it cool a little bit, and pour a bit into the egg while whisking. Add in rest of milk. Heat mixture stirring the whole way, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. YOU CANNOT BOIL – this would make scrambled eggs. While this cools, add vanilla. Spread pieces of the cake with jam and cut into cubes. Sprinkle the fruit with sugar and vanilla. Whip the cream. Fold the cream into the custard. In 6 glasses or in one large, glass bowl, layer the ingredients. Cover and put in the fridge for a couple of hours.

1 comment

  1. Celia
    November 20, 2013

    Trifle in a giant bowl is quintessential Australian Christmas fare. My husband tells me that it MUST include tinned peaches and red jelly! Em, I make custard from scratch in the microwave, it takes just five minutes, It think you might like it! (Link is on the Cakes and Cookies page on my blog)