A to Z Recipes
Olde English Trifle
A perfect trifle should be a rich confection of fruit, light sponge, alcohol, real egg custard and whipped cream. The recipe has altered little over the centuries - at one time the custard was topped with syllabub and fruit has not always been added. Serves 6-8.

INGREDIENTS: Trifle sponges - 4, Cherry jam - 4 tbsp, Ratafia biscuits - 15, Sherry - 4 tbsp, Bananas - 2 peeled and sliced, Lemon, zest and juice, Cherries - 225 g (8 oz) stoned, Milk - 450 ml (* pint), Eggs- 3, Caster sugar - 50 g (2 oz), Double cream - 150 ml (* pint), whipped, Glace cherries - to decorate, Nuts - 25 g (1 oz), chopped, toasted, to decorate.

COOKING: 1. Cut the trifle sponges in half and spread with jam, then sandwich together. Arrange in the base of a glass serving dish.
2.Cover with ratafias and sprinkle with sherry. Coat the bananas in lemon juice. Arrange the bananas and cherries on top of the ratafias.
3. Heat the milk until almost boiling. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest and sugar until pale, then pour on the hot milk, stirring continuously.
4. Return to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow to boil. This takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
5. Pour the custard over the trifle and leave until cold. Pipe the cream on top of the trifle and decorate with glace cherries and nuts.