Trifle is a traditional English dessert made by combining two of my favorites: cake and egg custard. It is a decadent looking dessert and always a success when served post dinner.
Essentially an English trifle needs sponge lady fingers, or pound cake, that have been soaked in sherry. To make it family friendly simply skip the sherry. Most recipes use a jelly or jam drizzle on top. I prefer to use fresh fruit because, in my opinion, it adds the sweetness without the extra sugar of jam.
As I mentioned, most recipes for trifle use sponge ladyfingers or pound cake. My pound cake recipe you can find here. It works perfect in this trifle. It is easy to bake, and after it is completely cooled, cut some thin slices to place on the bottom of your serving dish. I used single portion glasses this time. However, a beautiful bowl like this works well too. If you want to make some for adults and keep some kid-friendly the single portions is the way to go.
My egg custard recipe you can find here. The custard recipe is for one person so to make this trifle I simply doubled it for 2 portions. If you are making a bigger serving bowl, I recommend tripling the recipe. If you want to make more than one layer I recommend multiplying the recipe 4 times. I used egg custard, but if you can get custard powder to make your custard, that is a lot easier and works too.
Assembling the Trifle:
After all your ingredients are done and cooled, you can start building your trifle. The first layer will be the pound cake. Slice some pieces and line the bottom of your serving glass or bowl with the cake. If using, drizzle your sherry over the cake. The next layer is fresh fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries but you can pick any type of fruit that is in season for the time. If using strawberries, thinly slice them. When using a big bowl it is fun the make a row of strawberries facing the glass, so you see them as a ring on top of the cake and get nice layers.
Once you are happy with how your fruit is arranged, top it with the custard. Pour it in gently so that you do not disturb the fruit layers. At this point I prefer to let the trifle rest for a bit in the fridge, approximately one hour. This allows all the flavors to soak in.
Once you are ready to serve your trifle, prepare some fresh whipped cream. Remove the trifle from the fridge and top it with the whipped cream. Just before serving you may want to sprinkle some meringue on top for that extra crunch. This dessert is my favorite at a dinner party because you can do all the preparation in advance, even the day before. Since you can prepare it in advance you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when hosting. Simply whip up some cream to serve a dessert that looks and tastes amazing. Always a success! When crunched on time you can even buy a pound cake to use instead of baking one yourself. With the use of custard powder, this recipe gets even easier. This recipe can be as easy or difficult as you want, but the end result will dazzle either way.
- 6 Slices Pound cake
- 3 Tablespoons Sherry
- 1 Cup Mixed berries
- 2 Cups Egg custard
- Whipped cream
- 1/2 Meringue crumbled
- Bake your pound cake. You can find the recipe I used here. Let it cool completely.
- While the cake is in the oven get started on your custard. Recipe on my blog is here. Let it also cool completely.
- Next, bake your meringue, or use store bought.
- When all the ingredients for the trifle are ready and cooled you can start assembling it.
- Cut your pound cake into pieces that fit in your serving bowl. If using, drizzle the sherry over the cake.
- Wash your fruit. If using strawberries, slice them thin and place them on top of the sherry cake. On top of the fruit, pour your cooled custard. Cover your trifle and let it rest for a while in the fridge. At least one hour. This allows the cake to soak up the sherry and get even flavors.
- Just before serving, whip up your whipped cream or use store bought. Layer it on top of the custard. As a finishing touch, to give the dessert a little crunch, crumble your meringue on top. Serve and enjoy!