Today my friend Barb from A Life in Balance is back with another great guest post. I have had a trifle bowl in my dining room china cabinet for a really long time (like 10 years long) and have not used it a single time. I am not sure how I inherited this bowl and it takes up a lot of space. Barb is chatting trifles today and I can’t wait to break out my bowl now!
Building a Trifle out of a few simple ingredients like custard, whipped cream, fruit, and cake can be a lot of fun. Vary the ingredients and build infinite varieties of trifles.
Key to the building of a trifle is a deep bowl. This keeps the layers thick, allowing the cook’s creative side to come through in the building of the layers. If you need a deep bowl for a trifle, check out your local thrift shop. I always find a good bowl for trifle at my local Goodwill. You can also use the deep bowl to make a fancy schmancy fruit salad.
History of the Trifle
First published in the 16th century, the word trifle originally referred to a thick cream with flavoring. Shortly afterwards eggs were added to make custard which was then poured over alcohol-soaked bread. The trifle as we know it today was born. However, what we know as the trifle didn’t appear in cookbooks until the 18th century.
How to Build a Trifle
- Cake: sponge, angel food, Genoise, ladyfingers, pound cake, or macaroon (preferably stale)
- Whipped Cream
- Fruit: fresh, canned, jam, or preserves
- Optional: Alcohol
Layering the Trifle
Start with a layer of cake followed by custard and fruit. Pour the optional alcohol over the cake before adding the custard and fruit. Top with whipped cream. If you prefer, do 2 layers of cake, custard and fruit, topped with a layer of whipped cream. Some people use slices of fruit to decorate the sides of the bowl as they build the layers of trifle. Because the trifle is in a clear glass bowl, always consider the visual effect as you build your layers.
Trifle is a great year-round dessert. Vary the fruit according to the season to take advantage of the freshest fruit available. Use the trifle to showcase your own jam making efforts. For easy individual servings, make trifle in Ball freezer pint jars. The wide opening makes it easy to layer ingredients, plus you can add a cap and bring your trifle along on a summer picnic.
What’s your favorite trifle combination?
More Easy Dessert Recipes
Barb is a mom of 5 kids who spends her day keeping track of socks, stuffed animals, library books, and a 5 year old when she isn’t writing about all the frugality, gardening, cooking, and reading she manages to fit in between the chaotic moments. She can be found at A Life in Balance