Trifle is one of the most popular Christmas desserts, and it’s not hard to see why. Layers of sponge, fruit and custard with a hint of alcohol really makes a great combination. In my family we usually have Trifle and Pavlova for dessert so I thought about mixing the two. What I’ve come up with is like eating Trifle and Eton Mess – let’s call it Berry Trifle Mess.
The meringue layers in this dessert add a sweet crunch that gives added texture to the traditional trifle. Kids will love this one.
The berry trifle mess can be made gluten and dairy free by using gluten-free sponge, non-dairy milk to make the custard and coconut whipped cream instead of normal cream.
Berry trifle mess options:
This berry trifle mess recipe gives you many options. You can make your own plain gluten-free sponge cake by following my best ever gluten-free sponge cake recipe. Or you can simply buy a gluten sponge or make one using a plain or vanilla gluten-free cake mix. You can buy store bought custard if you are in a rush or make your own with custard powder or from scratch (kudos). Finally you can make your own meringues or you can buy them already made. It’s really up to you to decide depending on your time-frame and want of effort. I haven’t added fruit jelly / Jel-O to this trifle but this can easily be added in as one of the layers, strawberry jelly / Jell-O would work well.
Trifle is an English dessert that has a long history. According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong) the earliest use of the word “trifle” dates back to 1587 where it was used to describe a type of custard. By the 1600s the term had evolved into describing custard with alcohol soaked bread. Its current version is much more appealing, but it is interesting to think about what the dessert might evolve into.
I used mixed berries as the main fruit, but you can add whatever fruit you like, tinned peaches and sliced banana work well too.
Once you have your core ingredients ready it doesn’t take much time at all to layer this berry trifle into one big pretty mess. Serve in individual glasses, jars or one large glass bowl. If you are making the day before leave out the middle meringue layers and just top with meringue before serving as it will dissolve in the fridge if left in there overnight.
For best results with the meringue layers (so that they stay crunchy) I recommend getting all the ingredients ready the day before then just layering them up an hour or so before serving.
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