Sadly, summer is coming to an end—but there is just enough time to make one last trifle. A trifle is a classic British dessert made up of layers of fruit, cake, and custard, and often, but not always, some sort of liquor. One of the older desserts that still enjoys popularity today, trifles have been served since the 1500's.
In my opinion an assortment of berries make the best fruit to use for a trifle. Slightly tart but still sweet, and just acidic enough to contrast the richness of the custard, the last of the summer berries do well here. This trifle recipe uses what seems like an extraordinary amount of berries, but once they are all nestled snug in their custard you will understand why it's important not to skimp. Using a store bought pound cake will work; it cuts down on the clean up, and once it's soaked in sherry and berry juice, the usual signifiers of a store bought cake are well disguised.
- Yield:Serves 8
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 hour
- 12 ounces (about 2 cups) blueberries, divided
- 18 ounces (about 3 cups) raspberries, divided
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 quart heavy whipping cream
- 1 (1 pound) vanilla pound cake, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons sherry (or liquor of your choice)
- 1 pound strawberries, halved, divided
Combine 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch in a saucepan and mix to combine. Place saucepan over medium high heat and cook, stirring often, until berries begin to break down, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a large saucepan whisk together milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and remaining teaspoon cornstarch until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Transfer custard to a large bowl and allow to cool.
Using a standing or handheld mixer, whip the cream and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar together until stiff peaks form. Set aside 1 cup for topping. Place 1/4 of remaining whipped cream in bowl with custard and gently fold together using a spatula. Once initial whipped cream is incorporated into custard, fold in remaining whipped cream (leaving cup set aside for topping).
To assemble trifle: Place about 1/2 cup of the custard at the bottom of the trifle dish, then using about a third of the pound cake, cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle pound cake with 1 tablespoon of sherry (or other liquor). Cover pound cake with 1/3 of berry compote, followed by 6 ounces (about 1 cup) blueberries, followed by custard. Top the custard with more pound cake sprinkled with 1 tablespoon sherry, followed by 1/2 the remaining berry compote, 1/2 the remaining raspberries, and 1/2 the remaining custard. Top with remaining pound cake sprinkled with remaining sherry, followed by remaining compote and 1 cup of the halved strawberries.
Top the trifle with 1 cup remaining whipped cream and decorate with remaining berries. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Serve cold.