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Old English Trifle

It is best to make everything the day ahead, and assemble the trifle at the last minute.



  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream


  • 3 pints strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup high-quality orange liqueur
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Whipped cream


  1. Cake: Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In small saucepan, heat milk and butter until butter melts; keep hot.
  3. In mixer bowl, beat eggs at high speed until thick, about 3 minutes.
  4. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture. Stir until just blended.
  6. Add hot milk mixture and vanilla extract; blend well.
  7. Turn into two greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool.
  9. Custard: Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.
  10. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
  11. Stir moderate amount of hot mixture into egg yolks to warm them.
  12. Combine yolks with mixture in pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 more minutes; remove from heat.
  13. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  14. Cover surface of custard with wax paper or clear plastic. Chill.
  15. Beat whipping cream until stiff, and fold into chilled pudding. Set aside.
  16. Topping: Crush strawberries to make 2 cups after setting aside 14 of the best berries for garnish.
  17. Stir in sugar, and set aside.
  18. To assemble the trifle, make four cake layers by cutting both cakes in half horizontally. Fit one bottom layer into the bottom of a large glass bowl; spread 1 cup berry mixture over cake. Top with second cake layer, cut side up; sprinkle half of the liqueur over the cut side, and spread with all of the custard mixture. Place third layer atop custard and spread with remaining berry mixture.
  19. Sprinkle cut side of top layer with remaining liqueur and place it, cut side down, atop berries.
  20. Cover and refrigerate.
  21. Just before serving, sift confectioners' sugar on top of trifle. Score top with X's.
  22. Garnish with whipped cream and reserved strawberries.

Serves 12 to 16.

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