Trifle Recipe

June 10th, 2009, 4:09 pm PDT by Greg

The trifle that I regularly make is always a big hit. This is particularly joyous because it’s not very hard to make. The recipe is from the (annoyingly, out-of-print) New Canadian Basics cookbook, with a few mods by me. If you find a copy of Basics, buy it and live by it.

We served it at our open house and I posted a vague recipe then. Daniela wanted me to be more explicit, so…


This makes a big party-sized bowl.

  • 2 pound cakes (or similar cakes from grocery store) cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 C fruit coulis (recipe below)
  • 6 C fruit pieces (berries, peaches, mango,… whatever is available. Use canned/frozen if you must.)
  • 6 C custard sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 C whipping cream
  1. Make the other recipes below. They need to cool, so leave some time. (I usually do them the day before.) Eat a few handfuls of the cake pieces while you’re getting stuff together.
  2. For the first layers, use about a third of each: cake pieces, fruit coulis, fruit pieces, custard.
  3. For the next layers, repeat step 1 twice more, using the rest of each ingredient. Cover and refrigerate for 4–8 hours.
  4. Whip cream and spread on top. Garnish with some berries.

Fruit Coulis

This makes more than the trifle needs, but there’s nothing wrong with having some berry sauce in the fridge. Reasonable substitution: decent berry jam thinned with a little fruit juice or sherry.

  • 1 kg bag of frozen fruit (mixed fruit or mixed berries)
  • water
  • sugar
  • cornstarch
  • 1/4 C sherry (optional)
  1. Put 1/4 C of water and 1 tbsp of cornstarch in a jar/tupperware. Shake to combine. (Goal: no cornstarch lumps.)
  2. Combine 1/4 C water, 1/4 C sugar, and the berries in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the berries have started to cook, add half of the cornstarch mixture and stir. Make sure the mixture boils to cook the cornstarch.
  4. Look and taste. Add more cornstarch mixture if it needs to be thicker; sugar to taste; cook longer if there are too many berry chunks.
  5. Turn off heat and stir in sherry.

Custard Sauce

Makes about 6 cups. You could probably substitute 6 cups of custard made with a custard powder, but I have never tried.

  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 6 tbsp (=3/8 C) cornstarch
  • 4 1/2 C milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  1. In a big microwavable bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and milk. Whisk to combine.
  2. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Whisk to combine and break up any lumps. Repeat until it thickens. (It will boil a bit: covering the bowl saves cleanup.)
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in a little of the hot mixture. (You’re preventing egg lumps here: add hot mixture to eggs slowly while whisking, until you have added about as much mixture as you had eggs originally.)
  4. Microwave for a few more minutes. Stop and whisk every minute or so. Continue until the whole thing has cooked (thickened and maybe boiled a bit).
  5. Add the vanilla.

5 Responses to “Trifle Recipe”

  1. Angelica Says:

    You’re on for the bake-off.

  2. Angelica Says:

    (I just image searched trifle ’cause I didn’t know what it was… looks yummy!)

  3. Open House Menu-- Greg and Kat’s blog Says:

    […] Trifle [*] [Edit: full recipe posted] […]

  4. Makaila Cairns Says:

    Nice easy to follow recipe idea – thankyou

  5. Open House 2010-- Greg and Kat’s blog Says:

    […] trifle (from my recipe) […]