Kate’s Sherry Trifle

The combination of a nutty, medium-sweet oloroso or cream sherry that is sprinkled over sponge, home-made custard and raspberry jam, cream and toasted almonds is sublime. We usually make half the trifle the day before so the flavours mature together, then put the cream and almonds on top on the day itself. Serves eight.

1 quantity Old-fashioned Trifle Sponge (see below)
75g ratafia (or amaretti) biscuits
200ml oloroso or cream sherry
250g good-quality seedless raspberry jam
300g raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 quantity Custard (see below)
350ml double cream
150g whole blanched almonds, toasted until golden
2 tablespoons icing sugar

To assemble the trifle, have ready a large-ish (glass) bowl, about 25cm in diameter, or if you prefer 8 individual glass bowls. Break up the sponge into large chunks and place in the bottom of the bowl, interspersing the pieces with the ratafia biscuits. Sprinkle with the sherry and let it sit for a few minutes to soak in. Heat the jam until melted, stir in the raspberries and barely warm them through. Spoon over the sponge, then pour the custard on top. Up to here, the trifle can be prepared a day or a few hours in advance.

Just before you are going to eat the trifle, whisk the cream until is thick, then spoon on top of the custard. When the almonds are cool, chop roughly, toss with the icing sugar and sprinkle over the trifle. Enjoy!

For the trifle sponge
2 eggs
110g caster sugar
45g plain flour
25g cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
Whisk the eggs lightly, then add the sugar and whisk for 20 minutes until very thick and pale. Sieve the flours with the baking powder and fold through the egg mixture. Pour into a buttered and floured 500g loaf tin on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf. If it browns too much, cover with baking parchment. Allow to cool on a wire rack before using.

For the custard
1 vanilla pod
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
420ml milk
300ml double cream
rind of 2/3 lemon, in large, thick strips, without the pith

Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into a large bowl. Add the sugar and cornflour. Slowly whisk in the egg yolks and eggs until incorporated. Place the milk, cream, lemon rind and vanilla pod in a saucepan and simmer gently together for 5 minutes. Slowly strain the hot liquid into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the pan, put over a medium to low heat, and whisk until thickened and just about to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the custard into a bowl and cool in iced water to room temperature. If the custard goes lumpy while you are cooking it, place the pan in iced water and whisk well.

This recipe is from Casa Moro.