Traditional Sherry Trifle



  • 8 trifle sponges
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 6 tablespoons sweet sherry
  • 12 ounces (350 grams) frozen raspberries, partially thawed
  • 2 ounces (50 grams) ratafia biscuits


  • 1 pint (550ml) milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar, plus a little for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn flour


  • 3/4 pint (425ml) whipping cream
  • 2 ounces (50g) flaked almonds, toasted
  • Glace cherries to decorate


  1. Base: Split the sponges in half then spread each half thinly with raspberry jam. Sandwich each half back together and cut into quarters. Place in the base of three and a half pint (2 litre) glass trifle bowl. Sprinkle the sherry over the sponges and spoon over the partially thawed raspberries and their juice.
  2. Roughly crush the ratafia biscuits and sprinkle over the raspberries.
  3. Chill for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Custard: Place the milk and vanilla pod in a small pan and slowly bring to just below boiling point. Transfer to a heatproof jug and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk.
  5. Place the egg yolks, corn flour and sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the milk, then strain the liquid back into the rinsed pan through a fine sieve. Cook over a gentle heat , stirring constantly until the custard starts to thicken, being careful not to allow to boil. Cook gently for two minutes unit the custard is a thick pouring consistency. Quickly pour the custard into a cold bowl to prevent further cooking. Sprinkle the surface with a thin coating of caster sugar to prevent a skin forming. Set aside and let cool.
  6. Spoon the cold custard onto the raspberries in the trifle bowl, spreading to the edges with a palette knife.
  7. Topping: Gently whip the cream until it nearly holds its shape, then spoon three quarters of it on top of the custard and carefully spread to the sides of the bowl.
  8. Whip the remaining cream until it holds it shape. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the top of the bowl and decorate with flaked almonds and cherries.

Yield: 8-10 servings

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