Break enough of the sponges to fit the base of each dish.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve on top of the sponge and level.
Reserve 4 raspberries and 4 strawberries for decoration. Equally divide the rest of the fruit between the four dishes, cutting the strawberries in half.
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.
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.)
Divide the custard between the four dishes.
Whip up the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.
Half the reserved strawberries and decorate each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.
This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.
This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.
1kg/2lb 3½ oz summer fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants
a splash of white wine (about 1 tablespoon)
100g/3½ oz unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, or walnuts
Chill eight dessert plates in the fridge.
Pour the milk in a small pan. Split the vanilla pod in two lengthways and add to the pan or add the extract, if using. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.
Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir in the sugar to make a paste.
Slowly add the milk and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Return to the pan and stir over a low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool briefly.
Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in two and lay them in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle over the wine or sherry.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold into the cooled custard.
Wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the ½ teaspoon of sugar and wine. Purée until smooth and then push through a plastic sieve to remove the pulp, using the back of a spoon. Once the purée is pressed through, wipe the underside of the sieve with the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.
Divide the sponge fingers between the chilled plates, arranging them around the edge.
Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.
Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.
Pour the custard over the sponge fingers then sprinkle the nuts on top.
Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.