Raspberry, elderflower and Muscat trifle


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Trifle is one of my abiding memories of the 1980s, originally from the Birds packets and then homemade with fresh fruit and I think possibly swiss roll as well. And while for many it’s probably a little twee, for me it’s an ideal comfort dessert and a wonderful sharing bowl to end a celebratory meal with friends. This recipe is a way of bringing the warm memories of spring and summer to the autumn and winter table with the scent of flowers and berries. I use homemade elderflower cordial from spring to make the jelly, although shop bought is perfectly fine. Raspberries are one of the best fruits for freezing and I keep enough in the freezer to do me most of the winter. Just take them out just as you’re going to use them to give that lovely sheen of frost as you serve the trifle, they’ll defrost pretty quickly.




  • 12 trifle sponges
  • 2 tbsp of Muscat, or Rivesaltes Abre
  • 100ml of elderflower cordial
  • powdered gelatine, enough to make 500ml of jelly
  • 500ml of custard, shop-bought or homemade
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 100g of frozen raspberries
Break the sponges up into 1–2cm pieces and place in a large, relatively flat-bottomed serving bowl (or divide equally between 4 if making individually). Spoon over the wine and leave to soak for 10 minutes
Make the jelly by preparing the jelly as per packet instructions. Add the cordial and make up to 500ml. Pour over the sponges then place in the fridge to set
Once the jelly has set, pour over the custard, making sure you leave it to cool if making at home
Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks – you don’t want it still runny but don’t want butter, so be careful not to over-whip. Pour the cream over and smooth down
Add the raspberries round the edge and place any extras in the centre. Serve immediately
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