My favorite dessert is the English trifle. Although there are many variations, the trifle essentially is a layered cake and custard dessert. I’ll share with you the way I learned to make it as a child.
A trifle is usually made in a glass bowl to showcase the dessert’s layers. As usual, I don’t have the right tools (er, bowl) for the job, so I’m using a stainless steel measuring bowl that is neither see-through, glass, nor attractive.
The ingredients for my trifle are whipped cream, strawberry jam, vanilla pudding, angel food cake, and crushed pineapple in juice.
Note: As you can see in the photo, I’m using pineapple chunks in heavy syrup. This does not work as well as the crushed pineapple, since you can’t really spread it; but Hubby grabbed the wrong can.
It’s easy to make this dessert lower in fat, by purchasing low-fat, fat-free, or sugar-free ingredients.
Slice the angel food cake into three same-size pieces. Place one piece in the bottom of your bowl.
Drain your crushed pineapple and save the juice. Spoon the pineapple juice onto your bottom cake layer, pressing down with the spoon to help the cake absorb the juice.
Evenly spread a third of the crushed pineapple over the cake. Then follow with the strawberry jam, and finally the vanilla pudding.
Place the second cake layer on top. Then start with your pineapple juice, and repeat the previous steps. Then place the third and last piece of cake on top. Cover the entire thing with whipped cream. You’ll probably have stuff falling down into the center at this point, and that’s fine. I just cover the hole with whipped cream.
You don’t have to put a topping on it, but if you do, fresh fruit is great. I had some walnuts I wanted to use up, so I sprinkled those on top. Then, place in your fridge to get nice and chilled until you’re ready to serve it. I think it tastes even better when left in the fridge overnight. Everything really has a chance to mix together then.
Here’s what it looks like scooped in your bowl:
You can skip the jam or preserves and make the trifle with all fresh fruit. Blueberries and banana slices would be yummy too. I’ve heard of trifles being made with chocolate ingredients. Around Thanksgiving, a pumpkin trifle would be great to try too!
The traditional trifle recipes actually call for sponge cake sliced in large chunks, and that’s an easy step to add, if you’d like. The result would be the same. They also call for sherry, but fruit juice is a very tasty non-alcoholic substitute. If you’re ambitious, here’s a recipe for a more traditional version.
As you can see, this dessert is very easy to make and has endless possibilities! Give it a try, and let me know how you like it!