If, like me, you are a child of the 1980s, it’s likely that part of your childhood Christmas celebrations would have involved crowding round to a relative’s house for a retro buffet of leftover turkey, cheese and pineapple on sticks, hula hoops and sausage rolls. The centrepiece of our family Boxing Day buffet was a legendary trifle. I would always have at least 4 portions before falling asleep on the pile of coats in the spare room.
Trifle is up very high on the list of things I miss since going gluten free (along with proper flaky pastry and not looking like a mad lady in restaurants) so for my first Gluten Freek Recipe Challenge I am recreating a proper 1980s trifle. The interweb is full of decadent trifles made with homemade vanilla custard, fresh fruits and posh toppings. Not so my retro trifle – which chiefly relies on convenience & tinned foods, can be made in advance for the big day and definitely doesn’t have any sherry in. I also made a video for your multimedia viewing pleasure :)
- 4-6 slices of slightly stale gluten free sponge cake or cupcakes cut into small cubes
- 2 x 410g tin of sliced peaches (or your preferred fruit)
- 1 x 135g packet of raspberry jelly (or your preferred flavour)*
- 75g custard powder*
- 50g sugar
- 1.2l milk
- 300ml whipping cream
- Hundreds & thousands*
*make sure the brands you use are gluten free, as some aren’t.
Makes: 1 large trifle, or 8 small trifles.
- Put Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ on repeat play.
- Make the jelly to packet instructions – I prefer to microwave the pieces for 1 minute with 100ml of water, then add cold water to make 1 pt. For an extra fruity jelly, substitute half of the water for the juice from the peaches or some fresh fruit juice. Leave the jelly to cool and slightly set – this prevents it from soaking into the cake too much.
- Start to layer your trifle: pieces of fruit, then chunks of cake. When the jelly has cooled and started to thicken, pour evenly over the sponge, and pop in the fridge to fully set.
- Meanwhile: make the custard to packet instructions – these quantities will give a nice thick custard. Leave this on the side to cool.
- Whip the cream – you want nice soft peaks that can be spooned.
- When the jelly is set and custard is cool, layer on your custard. Leave to set fully in the fridge. Finally spoon or pipe on the whipped cream.
- Just before serving, finish with a liberal sprinkle of hundreds & thousands (this will prevent the colours leaking into the cream).
- Serve – I recommend avoiding getting any fruit in your portion, and adding canned whipped cream and ice cream before the grown-ups notice.
- Change the fruit or jelly for your preferred type or flavour (but bear in mind that frozen fruit isn’t usually as sweet as tinned/fresh)
- If you don’t dig the jellified sponge, add your custard layer first and leave to form a slight skin before layering the jelly.
- Not a custard fan? Why not use Angel Delight for extra 80s points?
- If you really must put the sherry in the trifle – sprinkle it over the sponge to soak in before the jelly