Wild strawberry trifle

Matthew Fort cooks up a taste of British summer with Paul Heathcotes trifle recipe
By Matthew Fort
Wild strawberry trifle
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour 30 minutes chilling
  • Effort: easy


For the sponge

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp cornflour

For the custard

  • 500 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
  • 9 free-range egg yolks
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water until softened

For the wine jelly

  • 375 ml fruity red wine, such as Beaujolais
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 6 sprigs fresh basil
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water until softened

For the hot strawberry coulis

  • 450 g strawberries, hulls removed
  • 115 g caster sugar

For the trifle

  • splash dry sherry
  • 8 large strawberries, hulls removed, halved
  • 250 ml whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 115 g wild strawberries, (fraises de bois), to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper.

2. For the sponge: beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornflour, mixing until you have a smooth batter.

3. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking tray until it is 1cm deep. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown and springy to the touch. Set aside and allow to cool.

4. Using the base of the moulds in which you are going to make the trifles (ie a ring mould with a diameter of 10cm/4inches), cut the sponge sheet into rounds.

5. For the custard bring the cream to the boil in a heavy-based pan along with the split vanilla pod and seeds. Remove from the heat as soon as it comes to the boil. Remove the vanilla pod.

6. Whisk the egg yolks, flour and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl until smooth and well combined. Slowly pour in the hot cream mixture, whisking continuously, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

7. Pour the mixture back into a clean pan and cook over a medium low heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the softened gelatine leaf until dissolved. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a container and allow to cool.

8. When cooled, cover the container with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.

9. For the red wine jelly: bring the red wine to the boil along with the sugar, basil and peppercorns in a pan, stirring occasionally. When the sugar is dissolved, strain the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the softened gelatine leaves until dissolved, then set aside to cool.

10. For the strawberry coulis: place the strawberries and sugar into a pan with a dash of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the strawberries have broken down and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

11. For the trifle: place a layer of sponge at the bottom of the mould and sprinkle with the dry sherry. Place some halved strawberries around the edge of the moulds, with cut sides outwards. Pour the jelly into the mould until it is level with the tops of the strawberries. Place into the fridge to set for one hour.

12. Place another layer of sponge on top of the jelly, sprinkle with more sherry and pour over the custard. Place back into the fridge to set for another 30 minutes, or until firm, then remove from the fridge.

13. Place the moulds on serving plates and run a sharp knife around the inside edge to loosen the trifle. Remove the mould. Spoon some of the strawberry coulis onto the centre of each serving plate and set the trifle on top. Pipe some of the whipped cream on top of the trifles, then decorate with the wild strawberries.

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