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Traditional Raspberry Trifle

This is the old-fashioned traditional trifle that I used to have to make with frozen raspberries at Christmas time. Now you can buy excellent jetset raspberries, which come from afar, which makes it even better. The custard can be made ahead and frozen. Pour it into a plastic freezer box, cover the surface with clingfilm to stop a skin forming and leave to cool. When the custard is cold, cover with a lid and transfer to the freezer. (Alternatively, you can freeze the custard in a freezer bag.) The custard take 2 hours to defrost (at room temperature), just give it a whisk before using in the trifle.

 
 
 Traditional Raspberry Trifle

  Serves 6-8

Ingredients
 8 oz (225 g) fresh raspberries
 2-3 tablespoons raspberry conserve
 5 trifle sponges
 5 fl oz (150 ml) Madeira (rich or dry)
 2 bananas
For the custard:
 1 vanilla pod
 10 fl oz (275 ml) double cream
 3 large egg yolks
 1 teaspoon cornflour
 1 oz (25 g) golden caster sugar
For the topping:
 2 oz (50 g) flaked almonds
 10 fl oz (275 ml) double cream
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Equipment

You will also need a 3-pint (1.75-litre) glass serving bowl.

Method

First of all, split the trifle sponges in half lengthways, turning them on their sides and cutting through, then spread each half with raspberry conserve, sandwich them together again and cut each one into three.Next, arrange the pieces in the base of the bowl, make a few stabs in the sponges with a sharp knife and sprinkle the Madeira all over them as evenly as possible.

Leave it now for about 30 minutes so the sponges can absorb the Madeira, tipping the bowl from side to side occasionally to distribute the liquid. Meanwhile, toast the almonds under the grill, watching them like a hawk – they need to be golden brown, not black!

To make the custard, pour the double cream into a small saucepan. Slit the vanilla pod open then using the tip of a small knife, scrape the tiny black seeds into the cream, adding the pod as well. Blend the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together thoroughly in a basin, and when the cream is hot, pour it over the egg mixture, stirring the whole time. Now return the custard to the saucepan and stir over a very low heat until thick, them remove it and allow to cool. Discard the vanilla pod.

Now, slice the bananas quite thinly and scatter them, along with the raspberries, in amongst the sponges.Then whip the double cream with an electric hand whisk until it is firm but still floppy. Pour the custard over, then spread the cream over the top and scatter with the cooled nuts. Cover with clingfilm and store in the fridge till needed.

 

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