Recipe: Classic Trifle


Serves: 10

Prep time: 45mins

Cook time: 15mins



750g frozen summer fruits (strawberries, blackberries, red and blackcurrants)

250g caster sugar

9 sheets leaf gelatine

75g custard powder

1.2l milk

1- 2 Madeira cakes

4tbsp sherry or cassis

300-440ml double cream

1tsp vanilla extract

2tbsp icing sugar

2 crushed biscuits to serve



  1. Put 750g frozen summer fruit in a pan with 200g caster sugar and 1 litre water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cook for 2 minutes, and then scoop out 6 tbsp fruit and 150ml juice. Now carry on cooking the fruit in the pan for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, soak 9 sheets leaf gelatine in cold water to soften it. If you have a hand blender, blitz the cooked fruit or mash with a potato masher, then strain through a sieve into a large bowl and push through the pulp so just the skins and seeds are left.
  4. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, add to the hot fruit syrup and stir to dissolve. Cool, then chill until on the point of almost setting.
  5. Make the custard according to pack instructions with 75g custard powder, 1.2l milk and 50g caster sugar to create a really thick custard. Cover the surface with baking paper while it cools a little.
  6. Pile 1½ - 2 cubed Madeira cakes into a trifle bowl, spoon over the reserved juice and berries, then add 4 tbsp of sherry or cassis.
  7. Pour over a thick layer of custard, pushing it against the side of the dish to seal in the cake below. Leave to cool and set with a skin – this makes a barrier for the jelly.
  8. When the custard is cold and set, and the jelly is on the point of setting, spoon the jelly over the custard and chill until ready to complete.
  9. Whip 300 - 450ml double cream with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp icing sugar until just holding its shape, then spoon round the bowl over the set jelly. Scatter with 2 crushed biscuits and chill until ready to serve.