Traditional English Trifle


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Traditional English trifle got it’s name because it is “just a trifling little thing to make,” and truly, you don’t need a recipe.  Like many old, country recipes, this is a “Make Due.” recipe.  It was made with what was to hand: leftover cake, moistened with a bit of booze, a bit of leftover pudding, jam or preserves and fruit, all things that were usually to be found in the pantries of country houses in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The various components may be made from scratch or you may use pre made components.  This dessert is oh so delectable, oh so easy to make and perfect for a festive occasion.


Pound Cake, cut into quarter-inch slices, Homemade or commercial

Brandy, rum or cream Sherry

Vanilla pudding, Homemade  or instant

Strawberry or raspberry preserves

Fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries – use the same type fresh fruit as you use preserves

Whipping cream, (Do not use the stuff in an aerosol can.  It’s not the right texture)  Whip the cream to hold peeks but do not add any sugar.  This concoction is sweet enough.


A glass bowl


If using frozen fruit, allow it to thaw.  If using fresh, (slice strawberries), place in a bowl and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Slice the pound cake into quarter-inch thick slices and sprinkle lightly with whatever booze you are using.  Set aside.  If making pudding from scratch, make and allow to cool.  Spread the slices of cake with a thin layer of preserves.  Place a layer of the prepared cake slices in the bottom of the glass serving bowl.  Spread a layer of pudding over the cake.  Scatter a bit of fruit over the pudding.  Top this with another layer of cake, more preserves, more pudding, more fruit etc.  Continue until the bowl is filled.  Top with a generous layer of whipped cream and garnish with a few berries and perhaps a few sprigs of fresh mint if available. 

The English Country Kitchen


        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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