Easy Summer Trifle

Easy Summer Trifle

 

A very refreshing summer trifle with fresh raspberries and strawberries, that is very quick and easy to prepare.

 

Easy Summer Trifle
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt. sponge fingers, lady fingers or trifle sponges
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 115g (4 oz) strawberries (about ⅓ of a pint container)
  • 115g (4 oz) raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) Bird’s custard (1 cup)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (½ cup)

  • Equipment
  • 4 glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. Break enough of the sponges to fit the base of each dish.

  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve on top of the sponge and level.

  4. Reserve 4 raspberries and 4 strawberries for decoration. Equally divide the rest of the fruit between the four dishes, cutting the strawberries in half.

  5. Now sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sherry over the fruit in each dish and leave while preparing the custard so the sherry can be absorbed by the fruit and sponge. At this stage it can be left for up to an hour.

  6. Make up 1 cup of Bird’s custard according to the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm so it does not form a skin. Leave until just cold. (I usually like to make my custard from scratch but, hey, this is supposed to be an easy, summer recipe! You could even buy a carton of ready-made custard.)

  7. Divide the custard between the four dishes.

  8. Whip up the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.

  9. Half the reserved strawberries and decorate each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.

  10. Serve.

 

 

 

Raspberry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle

 

Frozen raspberries are used in this light, creamy trifle. Raspberry filled sponges are soaked in sherry and then topped with raspberries and covered in a creamy custard before decorating with dollops of whipped cream and crushed biscuits.

 

Raspberry Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: At least 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 8 trifle sponges or 1 packet lady fingers
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve/raspberry jam
  • 50ml (2 fl oz) sherry or framboise (¼ cup)
  • 340g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups), thawed
  • 360ml (12 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 3 ratafias or amaretti biscuits

  • Equipment
  • A large flat bottomed glass dish or 8 individual glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. Pour the milk into a pan.

  3. Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and take 2 tablespoons of milk from the pan.Whisk until blended and pale in colour. Set aside.

  4. Stir the vanilla into the milk in the pan and bring to the boil. Slowly pour the milk onto the egg mixture, stirring constantly. When smooth, pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

  5. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent it from forming a skin. Leave for 30 minutes to cool.

  6. Meanwhile slice the trifle sponges in half or open up the lady fingers and spread one half with the raspberry conserve or jam. Sandwich back together. Arrange in a single layer over the bottom of the glass dish or individual dishes. Drizzle the sherry over the sponges, then scatter the raspberries on top.

  7. Whisk 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of the cream until thick. Using a balloon whisk, whisk the custard to loosen it a little, then whisk in the cream until well blended. Pour on top of the raspberries.

  8. Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Using a large spoon, dollop the cream on top of the trifle in the large glass dish or spoon one dollop on top of the trifle in the individual glass dishes. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  9. Crush the biscuits into small pieces. Just before serving, sprinkle them over the cream.

  10. Note
  11. If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.

Updated: April 24, 2017

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote

 

Baked custard with fruit compote is a delicious light dessert of silky baked custard served with a compote of plums, strawberries and blueberries.

 

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 24 hours
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Standing time: 20–30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • 150ml/5 fl oz whole/full fat milk
  • 150ml/5 fl oz single cream/table cream
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 30g/1 oz caster sugar/extra fine sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • For the fruit compote
  • 85g/3 oz sugar
  • 170g/6 oz plums
  • 170g/6 oz strawberries
  • 170g/6 oz blueberries

  • To serve
  • Single cream/table cream

  • Equipment
  • A shallow ovenproof dish with a capacity of 600ml/1 pint


  1. Method
  2. For the fruit compote
  3. Wash the plums, halve and remove the stones. Pour 300ml/10 fl oz of water into a pan, add the sugar and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the plums and bring to a simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cover for 10–15 minutes until the fruit has softened but still keeps its shape.

  4. Meanwhile, wash the berries and hull the strawberries. Add them to the plums and stir to distribute the fruit. Transfer the fruit to a serving dish, cover and chill for 24 hours.

  5. For the custard
  6. The next day prepare the custard.

  7. Heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  8. Pour the milk and cream into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine the mixture and then strain the custard into a jug. Set the ovenproof dish in a roasting tin and pour in the custard. Then slowly pour cold water into the roasting tin to a depth of at least 2.5cm/1 inch. Carefully put on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. The custard will be set but should have a slight quiver in the centre when gently moved and it should have an attractive golden skin. Allow to cool for 20–30 minutes.

  9. The baked custard can be served warm or cold with the fruit compote.

 

Strawberry Tartlets

Strawberry Tartlets

 

Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!

 

Strawberry Tartlets
Prepares: 4 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 145g/5 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g/3 oz cold butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar, extra fine sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolk only

  • For the filling
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz whipping cream
  • custard powder
  • 110ml/4 fl oz full fat milk/whole milk
  • 350g/12 oz small strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

  • Equipment
  • 4 × 10cm/4 inch tartlet tins


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolk, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon cold water and mix to a firm dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Wrap in cling film/wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface then use to line the tartlet tins. Prick the bases with a fork, line with parchment paper and baking beans, then cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until light golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.

  7. For the filling
  8. Make up the custard according to the packet using 110ml/4 fl oz of milk. You want a thick custard. Cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin and leave it to become cold.

  9. Whip the cream until stiff and then fold into the cold custard. Spoon into the tart cases.

  10. Decorate the top with the strawberries, cutting them into halves or quarters, depending on their size.

  11. Add a little boiling water to melt the jelly (about 1 teaspoon) and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.

 

Classic Crème Brûlée

Classic Crème Brûlée

 

These crème brûlées are so creamy they make just the perfect dessert. Egg yolks, sugar and cream flavoured with vanilla make the creamy custard, and it’s topped with brittle caramel.

I have shared two methods for creating the caramelized topping, one using a chef’s blowtorch and the other using the grill/broiler.

 

Classic Crème Brûlée
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30–45 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: Overnight, plus 2 hours
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Plus cooling time

  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 
4 egg yolks, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 45g/1½ oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 
½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml/10 fl oz single cream/table cream
  • 300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream

  • For the topping

  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar/fine white sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100g/3½ oz caster sugar/fine white sugar if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • Equipment
  • 6 x 150ml/5 fl oz heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. For the custard
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  4. Lightly grease the ramekins with the butter and set to one side.

  5. Put the egg yolks into a large bowl, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk with a balloon whisk to combine. Set to one side.

  6. Pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat. Leave to cool slightly, about 2 minutes.

  7. Gradually pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking with the balloon whisk until blended. Strain the custard and divide between the six ramekins.

  8. Boil a kettle of water. Meanwhile, line a deep sided ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (this prevents them slipping while in the pan). Carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekin dishes.

  9. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. The custard needs to still wobble slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the water. Take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover and refrigerate overnight.

  10. For the topping using a chef’s blowtorch
  11. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  12. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  13. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  14. For the topping without using a chef’s blowtorch
  15. First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  16. The caramel will harden on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  17. Preheat the grill to high.

  18. Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the grill as possible. Cook for less than 1 minute, not letting the sugar burn. It just needs to melt the sugar.

  19. Leave to cool then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

 

Sweet Berry Trifle

Sweet Berry Trifle

 

A sweet trifle with frozen mixed berries to create a light dessert that goes down so easily. The sponge is soaked in a fruity, sherry syrup, topped with the summer berries, a rich creamy custard and finished with flavoured whipped cream.

 

Sweet Berry Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 1 hour 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 6 sponge trifles or 1 packet lady fingers
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 375g/12 oz frozen summer fruits/frozen mixed berries, thawed
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 tbsp sherry

  • For the custard
  • vanilla essence
  • 300ml/10 fl oz whole milk
  • 300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 85g/3 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

  • For the topping
  • 300ml/10fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp sherry

  • Equipment
  • Large, flat-bottomed glass bowl (trifle bowl) or 8 individual flat-bottomed, glass dishes


  1. Method
  2. Slice the trifle sponges or lady fingers in half and sandwich back together with the raspberry jam. Cut the sponges into large chunks and put in the bottom of the trifle bowl, or divide between the individual dishes.

  3. Drain the fruit, reserving the juice, and layer over the sponge.

  4. Make up the reserved juice to 125ml/4 fl oz with boiling water and add the golden syrup and sherry. Stir well to combine and then spoon evenly over the fruit and sponge to moisten.

  5. For the custard
  6. Pour the milk, cream and the vanilla essence into a pan and heat until bubbling around the edges. Put to one side for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour until smooth. Then gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture. Return the custard to the pan, bring to the boil then simmer for 2–3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the custard has thickened. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  7. Pour the custard in an even layer over the fruit, then chill for 20 minutes, until the custard is cool and just beginning to set.

  8. For the topping
  9. Whip the cream with the golden syrup and sherry until it starts to hold its shape then spoon over the custard.

  10. Return to the fridge to chill for 1½ hours before serving.

 

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee Crème Brûlée

 

Coffee crème brûlée – a lovely creamy coffee custard topped with caramelized sugar. This recipe gives two methods of creating the caramelized topping, with or without using a chef’s blowtorch.

 

Coffee Crème Brûlée
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30–45 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: Overnight
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 
4 egg yolks, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 45g/1½ oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 
½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml/10 fl oz single cream/table cream
  • 
300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 
3 tsp instant coffee granules or coffee essence

  • For the topping
  • 
2 tbsp golden caster sugar/fine white sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100g/3½ oz caster sugar/fine white sugar if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • Equipment
  • 6 x 150ml/5 fl oz heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. For the custard
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  4. Lightly grease the ramekins with the butter and set to one side.

  5. Put the egg yolks into a large bowl, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk with a balloon whisk to combine. Set to one side.

  6. Pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and add the coffee granules stirring until dissolved, or stir in the coffee essence. Leave to cool slightly, about 2 minutes.

  7. Gradually pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture whisking with the balloon whisk until blended. Strain the custard and divide between the six ramekins.

  8. Boil a kettle of water. Meanwhile, line a deep sided ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (this prevents them slipping while in the pan). Carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekin dishes.

  9. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. The custard needs to still wobble slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the water. Take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover and refrigerate overnight.

  10. For the topping using a chef’s blowtorch
  11. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  12. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  13. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  14. For the topping without using a chef’s blowtorch
  15. First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  16. The caramel will harden on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  17. Preheat the grill to high.

  18. Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the grill as possible. Cook for less than 1 minute, not letting the sugar burn. It just needs to melt the sugar.

  19. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for two hours before serving.