Friday, January 11, 2013

English Trifle

To be made the night before you need it. 
Take a large deep glass bowl 
 Drain 1 small tin mandarin oranges and one small tin fruit cocktail. Reserve juice.
 Make 1 64g jelly using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup reserved fruit juice. (1/2 cup less than package directions). Allow to cool.
 Break 1 angel food cake or vanilla cake into pieces. Layer 1/2 cake on bottom of bowl
 Drizzle  a little rum over the cake
 Add a layer of canned fruit as well as fresh raspberries and blackberries. Repeat until you have 2 layers of cake and fruit. Add another sprinkle of rum. Press it down with a spoon.
 Pour the jelly all over the layers of fruit and cake. Refrigerate overnight.
 Take 2 cups of cold custard (not pudding) and pour it over the set base. Add a layer of thick cream and sprinkle with fresh berries, slivered almonds on chocolate shavings. Refrigerate until serving. Will serve at least 12 people.

As a Brit, I grew up with Trifle. My Mama and Grandmother always made it but I seldom make it myself. We were invited to a belated New Years party last weekend and the menu was a traditional Scottish supper of Steak and Kidney pie (without the kidney) mashed potatoes and peas. I offered to make desert and decided to make a good old fashioned British trifle. 

There are many ways to make trifle, however the British way is with real custard and NOT vanilla pudding. You can buy Devon custard in a can in most grocery stores and it is usually really good, or you can use the good old Bird's custard powder and make it yourself. I usually use a combination of fresh fruit and canned fruit. I love mandarin oranges in a trifle and also a small tin of canned peaches and pears, as the fruit is nice and soft and this is far easier than slicing your own peaches and pears. I buy the ones packed in juice, not syrup and reserve the juice to make the jelly substituting and reducing the  cold water from 1 cup to 1/2 cup juice. You can add a little sherry, but I used rum. Because you don't cook it off, you only need a little, unless your friends are real boozers. You can be ambitious and make a plain cake, but I like to use the store bought plain angel food cake and it is light and not too sweet. Top it off with a layer of thick cream, either Devon cream if available or whipped cream. It is very simple to make, best made the night before to allow it to set, and will feed at least 12 for dessert.


  1. Chania that looks so refreshing and yummy !

  2. We use sherry
    I could eat a bucket

  3. We've just finished trifle season here in Australia! My Auntie swears by tinned pineapple, and the juice must go over the sponge. And only proper custard - what on earth is vanilla pudding? Yours looks lovely.

  4. I grew up eating trifle also but never really liked it, the consistency the lady fingers made in the jelly bothered me! My brother loves it though and can put away an entire bowl by himself:)

  5. Yum! I always let Peter make the trifle when we want it. He's English after all and who better to make it than him! Yours sounds divine!

  6. Having grown up in a home with Scottish parents this takes me right back to the Sunday dinner table. I never dreamed of making this myself but you make it look so easy that I might have to give it a try.

  7. Looks so delicious . . . I had Trifle at a neighborhood party during the holidays. Very festive in appearance. Once Babs see your posting . . . bet she will be serving up some Trifle to her family. Let's watch and see . . .

  8. This looks delicious! I've been in charge of Christmas dessert for years and have made many types of trifles which are great for our clan of 11. And it looks so pretty too. :)

  9. I'm like John, I love trifle - I could eat it for breakfast.

  10. Yup, I have to try this one!

  11. That looks delicious! I've never seen anything like it.

  12. Yours looks delicious. I just made my first trifle before Christmas and I see I've made a few errors. I used pudding because the Byrd's custard scorched and the angel cake was yucky although I did use it. I loved the fruit though with the pudding and the whipped cream. I need to take another stab at it.

  13. Hello Chania,
    Yum! That looks so good - I haven't made one in a while but it fills me with childhood smiles when I see one!

  14. Chania, why did you torture us!? Does this ever look delicious! I think this would go over very well at any get-together. Thanks for this.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania