December Recipe: Olde English Trifle

I hope you will enjoy this trifle. You could, of course, cheat and not make your own sponge and if you do not want to use double cream I find natural yogurt (the Greek style) a really good replacement.

Making your own custard is a bit of a chore but it really is much nicer than custard powder, although you can get the real custard from the chiller section. Just be careful, do not have the heat too high as you do not want to end up with scrambled eggs. I also like proper custard made with Jersey milk, readily available in Handley Organics, it tastes so much nicer and this is Christmas after all!

Have a happy and healthy festive season.

Serves 6

  • 568mls. / 1 pint of milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 30mls. / 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 Victoria Sandwich Cake (see below)
  • 175g. / 6ozs. raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 100g. / 4ozs. amaretti biscuits
  • 100mls. / 4ozs. medium sherry
  • 300mls. / 10fl. ozs. double cream
  • 40g. / 1 ½ ozs. flaked almonds toasted & 50g. / 2ozs. glace cherries to decorate

Victoria Sandwich Cake:

  • 175g. / 6ozs. soft margarine
  • 175g. / 6ozs. caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g. / 6ozs. self-raising flour
  1. Bake the Victoria Sandwich cake by creaming the margarine and sugar together, then beating in the eggs gradually. Sift in the flour and fold in and distribute between two greased and lined sandwich tins. Bake at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into it and it comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  2. Scald the milk with the vanilla pod. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
  3. Beat together the eggs (2), egg yolks (2), cornflour and sugar and strain on the milk. Cook over a gentle heat, without boiling, stirring all the time until the custard thickens slightly. Pour into a bowl and cool.
  4. Spread the sponge with the jam, cut up and place in a 2 litre / 3 ½ pint shallow serving dish with the crushed amaretti biscuits. Spoon over the sherry and leave for 2 hours. Pour over the cold custard.
  5. Whip the cream until softly stiff. Top the custard with half the fresh cream and pipe the remaining cream on top. Decorate with the almonds and cherries
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