Cherry sherry trifle

Cherry sherry trifle

The rich, nutty sherry is delicious with the freshness of the cherries in Martha Collison's trifle.

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  • Serves12
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare30 mins
  • Cook10 mins
  • Total time40 mins
  • Pluscooling

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For the custard

  • 4 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 300ml double cream

For the layers

  • 600ml pot double cream
  • 420g can black cherries in light syrup
  • 350g Cherries
  • 4 tbsp Amontillado sherry
  • 2 Madeira loaf cakes, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds


  1. To make the custard, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla paste in a large jug until smooth. Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan until steaming but not boiling.

  2. Gradually pour ½ the heated milk and cream over the egg mixture, continuously whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan containing the remaining milk and cream and heat gently, stirring until thickened. Whisk the custard until thick and creamy, then pour into a bowl, cover the surface with parchment and cool. Chill.

  3. For the layers, whip the double cream to soft peaks. Drain the canned cherries into a large bowl, reserving 4 tbsp of the syrup in a small jug. Halve and pit the fresh cherries (leaving a few of the best-looking ones whole and setting them aside for the top) and add to the canned cherries. Add the sherry to the 4 tbsp cherry syrup and mix together.

  4. Place a layer of sponge (about 1/3) at the bottom of a large glass serving bowl, approx. 2.5L, preferably one with straight sides. Brush the Madeira sponge with some sherry syrup. Scatter over about ¹/³ of the cherries, pour over ¹/³ of the custard and spread over ¹/³ of the cream.

  5. Repeat this process twice more, finishing with a mound of whipped cream. Decorate with flaked almonds and the reserved whole cherries. Serve on the same day that you make it, keeping it in the fridge until needed.

Cook’s tip

For a bit more fun, I sometimes use Battenberg in this trifle. Just swap one of the Madeira cakes for a 230g Battenberg cake, thinly sliced, and layer against the sides of the bowl so you can see the pretty squares.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,595kJ/ 626kcals



Saturated Fat












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