We have, I am afraid all too often be given what we call trifle but it is not trifle. Not real trifle and until you get a taste of real trifle then you will not know what I mean.
When I was a child I had trifle made from jelly birds custard and sponge finger with cream and hundreds and thousands scattered all over it . This is what I grew up to know and love as trifle and still to this day eat and enjoy. But is it trifle, well not really for that you will need the following
Some kind of stale sponge.
300ml or 6floz of whipping cream.
150ml or 4floz of sherry, brandy, or half-and-half of both.
50g or 2 oz of different crystallized fruits, glace cherries, angelica, and the like.
A few toasted sliced almonds.
600ml or 13fkoz of full aft milk
4 egg yolks
A good dash of vanilla
90g or 3 oz of sugar
15g or half an ounce of corn flour
Some good home made jam and fresh berries if you can get them.
This will make enough for about four people.
First, you need to make your custard. Now if you are going to use powdered custard you can but in fact there is no real substitute for real custard .First take your milk on a low heat start to warm that up on the stove top, but do not bring to the boil .Then take your sugar and get that in to a bowl then add your egg yolks. Whisk them together so that the yolks and the custard start to make a light almost pale yellow mix. Then take a little of the corn flour and blend that in to the mix. Now if you are a puritan and want to argue that you should not put any kind of corn flour in to custard then you are right, you should not put any kind of corn flour starch or stabiliser in it what so ever. But I do, it makes it a bit thicker and easier to work with and it means you have a little, and only just a little more time to cook it over heat.
Once you have your eggs sugar and corn flour all mixed together you can then slowly a little at a time at first and then once you have got things all moving about a little faster, add the milk. Now you do not have to add the milk in to the mix hot if you do not want to and I would not advise you to do so if you have not done this before as it can make the egg cook out and go all lumpy. So all you end up with is a fine sweet scrabbled egg. However, if you think you can do this it will cook a lot quicker than if you start cold. Work with a whisk the egg mix into the warm milk, and then return it to the pan, and back on the stove.
On a low heat cook the egg and watch as it cooks. You must keep on stirring it so that it does not stick. Once the egg is cooked and you will see that, it can coat the back of a spoon you can take it of the heat and allow it to cool.
Then take your sponge and cut it in to length so that it will fill your bowl. Then spread on to the sponge a good jam. Then stick them together and lay them in the bowl. So you end up with a bunch of sponge jam sandwiches at the base. Then take your spirit and pour that over the sponge. If you can use fresh berry in season all the better , strawberries or raspberries . Sherry, sweet sherry is my choice but you can use almost any thing you like. Once the spirit has soaked in to the sponge then pore the custard over the top and them put in to the fridge to cool and set.
If you can use fresh berries in season all the better , strawberries or raspberries, place them in-between the sponge as well as the jam and let the juices soak in to the sponge. The softer the berries the better. But if it is a winter trifle you should only use the jam.
Finally decorate with the crystallized fruit and toasted sliced almonds and a little whipped cream on the top.
You can if it is summer and the fruits and berries are in season just add raspberry strawberries blackberries and well just about any kind of thing you like instead of the jam. The choice is yours; as long as you make your own custard and do not use jelly then you will be close to making a real trifle.