My Recipes – Trifle


{{Herself is posting today}}

Here is one of my favorite dessert recipes. I’m putting all my recipes together into an e-book, as is the Ol’ Curmudgeon. We’ll let you know when they are ready to purchase and download.


Trifle is a British dessert that was used extensively in the Old South. It was varied with the fruit available and the basic recipes used by the cook. You can go as crazy as you want to with it, but basically it is simply layers of fruit, cake soaked in booze, custard, and whipped cream. You can use any kind of sponge cake or pound cake, but the old fashioned POUND cake is probably best. Serving it in a large footed bowl makes it look elegant!!

I first had Trifle at my Cousins Bill and Charlotte’s home. Cousin Charlotte, Bill’s wife, is a wonderful cook! She did NOT make the fast version of this treat!

Sponge cake (or pound cake)
1 1/2 to 2 cup fresh fruit**
3 1/2 – 4 cups custard
3/8 cup 10-X sugar, sifted
1 1/2 to 2 cup heavy cream, whipped
3/4 to 1 cup bourbon, brandy, rum or sherry
fruit and mint for garnish**

Slice pound cake about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and slice off crust. Line bottom of a pretty bowl (there is even such a thing as a “trifle bowl!!”) with the sliced, trimmed pound cake. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the liquor.

Arrange fresh fruit around lower edge of bowl, between cake and side of bowl. Spoon 3/4 of the custard over the cake. Arrange about 1/2 remaining cake slices on top of custard. Spoon preserves over cake. Layer rest of cake slices over preserves. Pour rest of liquor over cake. Cover with remaining custard. Cover and chill.

Just before serving, whip cream until foamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, continuing to beat until soft peaks form. Top trifle with whipped cream and garnish with fresh fruit and mint.

The custard you use can be any basic vanilla custard. Many recipes call for a richer custard made with half and half rather than milk, and with 2 or 3 extra eggs. You can use either vanilla or liquor to flavor it. Guess which I prefer?? It should be chilled thoroughly before adding it to the trifle.

When in a hurry, I have used Sara Lee or Pepperidge Farm frozen pound cake, frozen strawberries or raspberries, strawberry or raspberry jam, Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix and Cool Whip!! Hey, it works, and only gourmets will be the wiser!!

** NOTE: Fruit for the inside layers can be any fruit in season, but berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc) work best. Raspberries are traditional. Preserves should “match” the fresh fruit. Fruit for garnish should match fresh fruit. Fruit for trifle layers can be lightly crushed (or halved, in the case of strawberries). Fruit for garnish may be used whole or sliced partway down, in the case of strawberries. When desperate, UNSWEETENED frozen fruit can be used; firm berries work best, strawberries “don’t quite make it” for trifle when they’ve been frozen.

VARIATION FOR CHOCOHOLICS: Substitute chocolate egg custard for the vanilla egg custard. Substitute chocolate pound cake for the sponge or pound cake. Substitute Chocolate Cool Whip or Chocolate La Creme for the whipped cream (or add cocoa powder and extra 10X sugar to whipping cream while making it). Use a chocolate or coffee liqueur thinned “somewhat” with vodka for the liquor. Strawberries and raspberries go best with chocolate, but other fruits may do OK, too.

Make in layers, as above.


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