Traditional English Trifle
This one's the real deal. Though we love making trifles all the year round, we only ever make this one at Christmas - which keeps it in the very special occasion bracket. We have discovered that frozen English raspberries are better than imported fresh ones at Christmas time, and that bog-standard trifle sponges absorb Maderia better than home-made.
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 6 - 8
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. You can also watch how to make custard by clicking on our Cookery School Video on the right.
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
You will also need a Delia Online Little Gem 'Sauce' Pan (heavy gauge aluminium) or similar. A 1.75 litre capacity trifle bowl