Rhubarb and strawberry trifles

Layer up Angela Nilsen's springtime trifles in pretty glasses, or make in one glass serving bowl instead
By Angela Nilsen
Rhubarb and strawberry trifles
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: easy


  • 8 soft amaretti biscuits
  • 4 splashes marsala

For the custard

  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp custard powder
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 300 ml milk
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways
  • 200 ml carton creme fraiche

For the roasted fruits

  • 300 g rhubarb, ends trimmed
  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar, plus 2 tsp
  • 200 g strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered depending on size

For the topping

  • 200 g double cream
  • flaked toasted almonds, to decorate

Tips and Suggestions

To get ahead the custard and roasted fruits can be prepared a day before and chilled.

For a non-alcoholic version, use orange juice instead of marsala for soaking the amaretti with.


1. For the custard: mix the sugar, custard powder and cornflour in a medium saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the milk to make a runny paste. Beat in the egg yolks then stir in the rest of the milk. Scrape in the vanilla seeds, then drop in the pod. Cook, stirring constantly, over a medium-low heat, until the mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Just before it boils, remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover the surface with cling film to stop a skin forming, cool, then refrigerate until completely cold.

2. For the roasted fruits: preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse the rhubarb then slice into 4cm lengths. Scatter them over a large, heavy baking tray with sides, sprinkle over the 3 tablespoons of sugar and toss together. Spread the rhubarb out on the tray then roast for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to soften. Scatter the strawberries over the top, sprinkle over the 2 teaspoons of sugar and roast for 4 more minutes until the fruits are just tender but still holding their shape and the juices are syrupy. Remove and leave on the baking tray to cool.

3. When ready to serve, crumble the amaretti biscuits into 4 glasses or serving dishes. Pour the marsala over them and leave to soak.

4. For the topping: meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks. Spoon the cooled fruits over the amaretti biscuits, along with some of the syrupy juices. Remove the vanilla pod from the custard, then spoon the custard over the fruit. Finish with a dollop of the cream and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

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