Mary Berry’s ‘popular’ classic trifle ready in just 25 minutes

Mary Berry’s classic trifle can be made within 25 minutes, so why not give it a go?

“Popular” with Mary Berry’s family, perhaps this trifle will become a staple in your family home too.

“This is a reliable traditional recipe which is always popular with my family,” said Mary Berry.

Requiring custard, there are some very good ready-made custards available to buy in the supermarket.

Alternatively, you can have a go at making your own custard; it’s up to you.

READ MORE… Mary Berry’s ‘easy’ flapjacks take 30 minutes to bake with just four ingredients

Do note that this is an ideal dessert to make a day ahead, as the trifle will taste even more delicious the next day if kept in the fridge.



  • One x 400g can pears in natural juice
  • One packet trifle sponges containing eight sponges
  • Strawberry jam
  • 75ml medium dry sherry
  • About 10 ratafia biscuits, or broken almond biscuits such as macaroons
  • 600ml bought good-quality fresh vanilla custard
  • 300ml double cream
  • 25g flaked almonds, lightly toasted.


1. Drain the pears, reserving the juice, then cut the fruit into small pieces. Split the trifle sponges in half and sandwich together with the strawberry jam. Measure the sherry into a jug and make up to 150ml with the reserved pear juice. If you don’t wish to have sherry in your trifle then use all of the pear juice – about 150ml.

2. Put half the chopped pears into the base of a glass serving dish of about 20cm in diameter and 6cm deep. Arrange half the trifle sponges on top, then add the remaining pears and finally the remaining sponges. Scatter the ratafias on top and pour the sherry and pear juice mixture over evenly.

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3. Carefully pour the custard over the top. Lightly whip the cream until it just holds its shape and spoon carefully over the custard. Smooth or fluff the surface. Serve chilled. Sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds just before serving.

Mary Berry said: “Flaked almonds can now be bought ready toasted, but if you do need to toast them yourself, put them in a dry pan over a medium heat on the hob.

“Move them around with a wooden spoon and watch them like a hawk as they can quickly burn.”

How to make custard

If you decide to make your own custard, BBC’s Good Food has a quick recipe you can try.


Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins


  • 200ml double cream
  • 700ml whole milk
  • Four large egg yolks
  • 3tbsp cornflour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract


1. Put the cream and milk into a large pan and gently bring to just below boiling point. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture onto the sugar mixture, whisking constantly.

2. Wipe out the saucepan and pour the mixture back into it. Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon (see Steps 1 and 2, for stirring tips) until the custard is thickened, but before any lumps form. Eat hot or cold.

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