Summer Berry Trifle
This dessert is one of those ones that belongs in your well-loved, butter stained jumble of dog-eared paper recipes that have been passed along from friends and family who know their way around the kitchen. It is my favourite in my mother-in-law’s arsenal. It has become such a frequent delight that she no longer asks what she can bring along to a barbecue or summer gathering. Guests-in-the-know delicately enquire about the attendance of Jane’s Trifle before accepting an invitation.
I love trifles as they’re just so foolproof. This one is best made the night before, and Jane serves hers in a gorgeous glass dish which is definitely on my wish-list. Your ingredient quantities will depend on your dish size - it’s best to err on the generous side with your quantities. The recipe works really well with any frozen berries and is a delicious way to stretch out that summer feeling. It also uses store-bought sponge, which is a shortcut I am not ashamed to embrace. Go heavy rather than light on the coulis, as you’ll find the sponge soaks it up quickly.
This is not the first time I’ve featured trifle - I shared my favourite Christmas trifle here. It has become clear to me that I have a soft spot for it, and I would so appreciate any of your favourites. I’m sure you have got one in your gilded pile of family favourites...
500g of mixed frozen berries (we use raspberries, boysenberries and blueberries)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup kirsch, sherry or Port
½ cup berry jam (raspberry is my favourite)
1-2 layers of sponge cake
a little sugar and vanilla to sweeten
1 punnet strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup canned peach slices
Toasted flaked almonds to decorate (optional)
Simmer berries with sugar and water for about 15 minutes.
Take off heat and add kirsch or sherry. Strain off the fruit (reserving liquid in a smaller bowl) and mix the fruit with the jam. Set aside.
Get your serving bowl. Cut the sponge into cubes. Quickly dunk each piece, one at a time, into berry liquid and transfer to the bowl. Dunk enough sponge to make a single layer in the base of the bowl.
Beat the mascarpone with the cream, a little sugar and the vanilla until thick.
Fold the creamy mixture in with the custard and drizzle about half of it over the soaked sponge.
Top with about a third berry & jam mixture followed by half of the peaches and strawberries.
Repeat with another layer of soaked sponge, the remaining strawberries and peaches and top with the remaining creamy mixture.
Chill for several hours. When ready to serve, drizzle remaining jam mixture on top. Scatter with reserved strawberries and almonds if using. Serves 6-8.