Raspberry Jelly Trifle

By Lindsey Bareham From the book The Trifle Bowl and Other Tales
Raspberry Jelly Trifle

A gentle update on the jelly trifles of my childhood. A little gelatine instead of fruit jelly to set fresh raspberry purée, with extra raspberries for decoration. I have made this with Bird’s custard and ‘fresh’ supermarket custard and both are delicious; the latter is fluffier and unlikely to set firm. The trifle will reach another level of deliciousness if it is made with fresh vanilla custard.

For how many? Serves 6-8


  • 8 trifle sponges
  • 5 tbsp sherry
  • 750g fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 4 sheets of gelatine
  • 750ml Bird’s or luxury thick and creamy ‘fresh’ custard, or fresh vanilla custard
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • Additional extras: angelica and silver balls
  • For the custard:
  • 600ml milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 75g caster sugar


Place the trifle sponges in a glass bowl and dredge with the sherry.

Set aside 12 perfect raspberries. Place the rest in a small pan with the caster sugar and lemon juice. Cook briefly, stirring as the sugar dissolves, just long enough for the raspberries to soften and turn very juicy. Place a sieve over a bowl and tip the raspberries into the sieve, forcing as much through as possible with the back of a wooden spoon.Scrape underneath so nothing is wasted, aiming to leave only pips in the sieve. Return the raspberry juice to the pan.

Soften the gelatine in a little water. Lift the wobbly gelatine into the raspberry juice and gently heat, stirring as it melts. Do not let it boil. Cool slightly, then pour the raspberry jelly over the soggy trifle sponges. Cover with clingfilm and chill for about an hour, possiblylonger, until set.

To make the vanilla custard, scald the milk with the split vanilla pod, giving it a few prods with a wooden spoon to disperse the vanilla seeds. Beat the egg yolks with the whole egg and sugar. Strain the vanilla-flavoured milk over the egg and stir to mix before pouringback into the pan. Cook very gently over a low flame, beating with a wooden spoon regularly to disperse hot spots, continuing until very thick with a slight wobble to the texture. Pour the custard into a bowl and suspend over another bowl of iced water to chill the custard quickly. Stir occasionally. When tepid, spoon the custard over thejellied trifle sponges, or add the slightly cooled Bird’s custard or ‘fresh’ custard from the carton.

Whip the cream by hand with the icing sugar until it just holds peaks. Spoon or pipe the cream over the custard. Decorate with the reserved raspberries and slivers of angelica; add the silver balls just before serving. Cover with a tight stretch of clingfilm and chill until required.

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