Traditional English Trifle

Serves 6 - 8

This recipe is adapted from Delia's Happy Christmas

Traditional English Trifle
For the custard:
 425ml double cream
 4 large egg yolks
 25g golden caster sugar
 1 level dessertspoon cornflour
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
 5 trifle sponges
 150ml Sercial Madeira (or dry sherry)
 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
 275g fresh or frozen raspberries
 2 medium sized bananas
For the topping:
 275ml double cream
 50g toasted flaked almonds
Equipment: You will also need a Delia Online/Silverwood Little Gem 'Sauce' Pan (heavy gauge aluminium) or similar. A 1.75 litre capacity trifle bowl


It’s best to start this with the filling, so slice the sponges in half lengthways, spread one half with jam and place the original half back on top.

Cut each one into three mini sandwiches, and place these sideways up in the bowl (they should all fit into a single layer). Now stab them with a small knife and carefully and slowly pour the Madeira over all of them.

Then leave on one side so the sponges will absorb the liquid.

Place the cream in a pan over a gentle heat and heat it to just below simmering point, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

While the cream is heating, use a balloon whisk to whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour mixture and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a cloth underneath to steady it. Then, whisking the egg mixture all the time with one hand, gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl.

When it's all in, immediately return the whole lot back to the saucepan using a rubber spatula. Now back it goes on to the same gentle heat as you continue whisking until the custard is thick and smooth, which will happen as soon as it reaches simmering point.

If you do overheat it and it looks grainy, don't worry, just transfer it to a jug or bowl and continue to whisk until it becomes smooth again.

Pour the custard into a jug or bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool.

To assemble the trifle, tip the bowl from side to side to make sure all the Madeira has soaked into the sponges, the peel and slice the bananas.

Then scatter the raspberries over the sponges and press them down with a fork to release their juices then scatter the bananas over the raspberries. Now pour the custard all over.

Finally whip the cream till thick, spoon it over and spread it around, and scatter the almonds over it all.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill until needed

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