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Traditional English Trifle Recipe

For the BBQ on Friday at N and P’s (that we wound up having inside due to rain!), I wanted to bring along something for pudding (US: dessert), since we were told we didn’t need to bring any food for grilling. Tim suggested a trifle and I immediately started giggling. All I could think about was that episode of Friends where Rachel made a trifle and it had “a layer of lady fingers, then beef sautéed with peas and onions” because two pages of her cookbook stuck together. Here’s a link on YouTube to watch the clip. Unfortunately, the uploader didn’t have an option to embed it and this was the only full clip I could find, short of splicing it together myself: http://youtu.be/Mx5Wpqf4-OM.

The last time I tried to make one was in 2008 when I was visiting. We bought a boxed trifle mix Bird’s makes, and it didn’t turn out well. We only had a plastic bowl to make it in, and the jelly never quite set, and then the custard was runny and it was just awful. I never tried making one again….until Friday. And it turned out this time! 😀

From what I can figure out through googling, there isn’t really a set way to make a trifle. It basically has four layers – sponge cake, jelly (Jell-o in the US), custard (US: pudding), and whipped cream, but it looks like you can add layers of fruit or jam, and even add multiple layers of the jelly, custard, and whipped cream if you’d like. And of course, if you’re obsessed with Friends, you can add beef and peas, but don’t expect anyone to eat it!

So here’s my version –

You will need:

-Sponge Cake (I used two pieces of leftover sponge from our steam-up)
-Jelly (US: Jell-o, in fact, I used box of jell-o my aunt sent me)
-Custard (US: pudding) (I used instant just-add-boiling-water custard)
-Whipped Cream
-Bananas
-Strawberries
-Chocolate for garnish (I used Buttons)

1. Break up the sponge cake and put it in the bottom of your glass bowl.
2. Cover the cake with your jelly (Jell-o) and set in the refrigerator to set (about 3 hours)
3. Meanwhile, make the custard and cool it off (or it will melt the jelly!) in the fridge.
4. After the jelly is set, spoon custard over jelly. At this point, I decided to add a layer of cut bananas to the trifle to give it more flavour.
5. Whip the cream or make your dream topping and spoon it over the custard
6. Top with strawberries and chocolate

The verdict? Yum.

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