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  • Writer's pictureMartha Roe Burke

Luscious English Trifle

Updated: May 23, 2021

Every year during the holiday season, above all others, my husband requests my raspberry trifle for dessert. I owe my fabulous recipe to my great aunt Margaret Henderson, whose good friend Elsbeth Murray mailed her this authentic recipe from England and she shared the original letter with the recipe to lucky me!

The egg custard recipe stands alone as a go-to for any base custard you might need for pies or cake fillings. It’s simply easy, light and divine! I’ve even been known to whip it up on a serious sweet tooth crave🤣.

P.S. I add lemon zest to the juice in this recipe for a lovely, hint of lemon! (Of course I do!!🤩) Be sure to follow us on Instagram @lemonsandsuch for even more great uses for lemons!

English Trifle

  • 6 ladyfingers or 9” square sponge cake

  • 1/3 c strawberry or raspberry jam

  • 1/3 c orange juice

  • 3 tbsp sherry flavoring

  • 6 almond macaroons, crushed

  • 1/2 c whipping cream

  • 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted


  1. Split the ladyfingers and spread with jam.

  2. Arrange cake or ladyfingers in single layer across bottom and line sides of the bowl.

  3. Mix orange juice and sherry and pour over the ladyfingers/cake.

  4. Sprinkle macaroons over cake and cover with rich custard. Allow to sit.

  5. Whip cream and confectioner’s sugar; add vanilla and spread over custard.

  6. Decorate with toasted almonds.

Rich Custard

  • 1/2 c sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

  • 2 1/2 c milk

  • 4 egg yolks, beaten

  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Mix sugar and cornstarch and salt in saucepan.

  2. Stir in milk, stir constantly until it boils.

  3. Boil for 1 minute.

  4. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir a little over half this mixture into beaten yolks, then blend into the mixture in saucepan.

  6. Bring to a boil stirring constantly.

  7. Cool and add vanilla.

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