Berry trifles

Somerset cider brandy adds a tipsy tickle to Mark Sargeants individual trifles
By Mark Sargeant
Berry trifles
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus cooling time
  • Effort: easy


For the custard

  • 600 ml double cream, plus 300ml extra, lightly whipped
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra if needed
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

For the trifles

  • 20 Italian sponge fingers
  • 4 tbsp Somerset cider brandy
  • 125 g raspberries
  • 125 g blackberries
  • 2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
  • mint leaves, to garnish

Tips and Suggestions

You can use any seasonal berries in this dish, or frozen berries in which case be sure to drain them thoroughly first.


1. For the custard: in a small saucepan, combine the 600ml of double cream with the vanilla pod seeds and heat just until small bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together until pale and creamy. Through a sieve, pour the vanilla-flavoured cream into the yolk mixture and whisk well. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, until it simmers and thickens. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the custard through a sieve and leave to cool.

3. Once the custard is cold, fold the whipped cream into it.

4. For the trifles: lay 4 or 5 sponge fingers in the bottom of 4 individual serving dishes, such as cocktail glasses. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brandy into each dish (use less if you dont want it too strong) to moisten the sponge.

5. Combine the raspberries and blackberries in a bowl, setting aside 4 good-looking berries to decorate. Divide the fruit between the serving dishes, top with custard and sprinkle over the almonds. Finish with a single berry and a mint leaf on top. Serve straight away, or chill and serve within 24 hours.

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