Towering Cherry Trifle
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Recipe courtesy of Mary McCartney

Towering Cherry Trifle

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 9 hr 10 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Trifle is very traditional British dessert, all about generosity and layers. It’s the perfect chilled make-ahead dessert of fruit jelly, sponge cake covered with layers of custard and jelly, and topped with whipped cream.


Cherry Compote:



Vanilla Custard (Optional):


Special equipment:
an electric mixer with whisk attachment and a 2-quart (2-liter) trifle bowl
  1. For the cherry compote: Tip the cherries into a medium saucepan along with any juices, and bring to a gentle bubbling simmer over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Press down using a masher or fork. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and the orange zest. Simmer for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. For the jelly: Put the jelly granules into a liquid measuring cup and top up with boiling water according to the packet’s instructions. Stir until the granules dissolve.
  3. Assembling the trifle: Pour half of the jelly into the bottom of a 2-quart (2-liter) trifle bowl. Scatter in half of the drained and thawed cherries. Leave to one side to set according to the directions of the packet of jelly granules. Set aside the remaining jelly.
  4. Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form, and set to one side.
  5. Once the jelly has firmed up, break the pound cake up into rough pieces and scatter half on top of the jelly. Grate over some orange zest and scatter over half of the chocolate pieces.
  6. Spoon over half of the custard, starting at the edges and working your way into the center to ensure defined layers around the edge of the bowl.
  7. Next pour over the cherry compote, again starting at the edges.
  8. Stir the reserved jelly to break it up and spoon it on top of the compote layer.
  9. Now add the rest of the cake and another grating of orange zest. Scatter over the remaining drained and thawed cherries, sprinkle over some of the remaining chocolate and then pour on the rest of the custard again, starting at the edges. Pile the whipped cream on top. Zest over the remaining orange, scatter the remaining chocolate and finish with the toasted almonds.

Vanilla Custard (Optional):

  1. Add the cashew milk, sugar, vanilla extract and turmeric to a large saucepan and slowly heat over medium-low heat. Once hot, pour in the cornstarch slurry and stir continuously until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Chill in the fridge overnight.