I am a F.R.I.E.N.D.S maniac! Remember the one where Ross gets high? Well, in that episode Rachel tries to make trifle and adds a layer of BEEF to it! It’s a horrid combination but nonetheless, Joey loves it! It is one of my favourite episodes.
Well, fresh fruit trifle is an English dessert and doesn’t need anything even close to beef! 😉 It is made with thick custard, sponge cake, whipped cream (heavy cream) and chopped fresh fruits. This is one of those easy-to-make recipes that you can make ahead of time. I generally make it when there are guests at home.
The beauty of the trifle is that is sumptuous without being too heavy.
Here are some tips before you getting started with the recipe:
Sponge cake: The classic recipe calls for ladyfingers biscuits instead of the sponge cake. These biscuits are generally egg based and are very low density which makes it very easy for them to soak up the juice. It is difficult to find these biscuits in India. A basic vanilla sponge cake also serves the purpose beautifully. I made an eggless sponge cake at home. You can make one for yourself or buy a good quality sponge cake from the market.
Mixed fruits: I used apple, banana, papaya and pomegranate. Any seasonal fruit can be used. Avoid using citrusy fruits like oranges and even melons as they are incompatible with milk. They curdle the milk and can cause digestion problems like bloating and acidity.
Dry fruits: Adding dried fruits is totally optional. I added some almonds and cashews to the mixed fruits and also used them for decorating. I love the crunch that these nuts add to the fruits. The most important step is to ALWAYS, I repeat, always dry roast the nuts. This increases their taste and aroma ten fold.
Serving the trifle: I prefer making this trifle in individual dessert glasses or serving bowls. It can also be made in one large dessert bowl and can be divided in portions when served.
Heavy cream: Heavy cream is just another name for whipped cream. It is used for icing cakes. Although it is easily available at most places, in case of unavailability, fresh cream (like Amul fresh cream) can also be used.
Number of layers: The number of layers in the trifle depend on how deep the desert bowl is and how heavy we want it to be. I made a single layer of everything as there was a heavy meal to be eaten before this dessert!
- (1 cup= 250 ml)
- 2 cups of milk
- 3 tbsp of warm milk
- 4 tbsp of custard powder
- 3.5 to 4 tbsp of sugar (As per taste)
- 1 small sponge cake cut in medium sized cubes
- 200 ml mixed fruit juice or any other fruit juice
- 2 cups of fresh fruit cut in small pieces (Seasonal fruits like apple, banana, papaya, etc.)
- 3 to 4 tbsp of almond and cashewnuts
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- ¼ tsp of vanilla essence
- For making the custard, take the 3tbsp warm milk in a bowl. Add the custard powder to it and mix well with a spoon. There should be no lumps in this mixture.
- Heat the 2 cups of milk in a pan. When the milk gets slightly heated up, add the sugar. Stir.
- Simmer and add the custard powder and milk mixture to the milk slowly while stirring continuously with a whisk. It is important to keep stirring while the custard mixture is added in order to avoid formation of lumps. The milk will thicken considerably and turn yellow in colour. The consistency of the custard can be adjusted as per preference. I prefer it less thick.
- Let the custard cool at room temperature first. Once cool, keep it in the fridge to chill.
- Take the whipping cream in a big bowl. Add a few drops of vanilla essence to it.
- Whip it using a wired whisk or an electric beater till stiff peaks are formed. This will take around 7 to 8 minutes. (I will soon have a separate post on how to whip heavy cream soon to explain it in detail)
- Once the custard is chilled and the whipping cream is ready, we can assemble the trifle in dessert glasses.
- Spread some sponge cake cubes in the dessert bowl. Using a small spoon, pour the mixed fruit juice on the cake pieces in order to soften them. Adding too much juice will make them too soggy and that won’t taste good.
- Spread around 2 tbsp of fruit pieces the bowl.
- Spread around 2 tbsp of custard on the fruits.
- Repeat all the layers. A layer of cake pieces, some fruit juice followed by chopped fruits and then topped with a layer of custard.
- Spread some whipped cream as the topmost layer. Smoothen it using using a spatula.
- Decorate the bowl with mixed fruit pieces or any one fruit of your choice. I used all the fruits. This gives it a very colourful and fresh look. Sprinkle some almond slivers.
- Refrigerate for minimum 4 hours or overnight. Serve chilled! Tastes best when served with a smile 🙂