Martha Collison's Pimm's trifles

A favourite summer tipple turned into a refreshing dessert – serve in jam jars for added fun

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes + chilling

Makes: 6


4 gelatine leaves
250ml apple juice or lemonade
1 tbsp sugar
150ml Pimm’s
½ x 25g pack fresh mint, chopped
200g strawberries, chopped

50g caster sugar
50g cornflour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
2 large Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
300ml milk
300ml double cream

300ml double cream
6 thin slices cucumber
Mint leaves


1. First, make the Pimm’s jelly. Place the gelatine sheets into a small bowl and cover with cool water. Allow to soften completely, around 5 minutes.

2. Heat the apple juice in a saucepan with the sugar until steaming, but don’t allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatine, one sheet at a time. Mix in the Pimm’s and chopped mint.

3. Divide strawberries between the glasses or jam jars and pour over the jelly mixture, then place into the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. If you’re stretched for time, freeze the jellies for 30 minutes instead.

4. While the jellies set, make the custard. In a jug, whisk together the sugar, cornflour, vanilla, eggs and egg yolk until smooth. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Gradually pour this over the egg mixture, continuously whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring until thickened. Whisk the custard until it is thick and creamy, then pour into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill until cool.

5. Whip the cream for the topping until it forms soft peaks. Divide the cooled custard between the glasses or jars on top of the jellies, and then spoon over the cream. Garnish each trifle with a piece of cucumber and a mint leaf, and chill until ready to serve.