Recipe: Constance Barker’s Christmas Trifle

This showstopper celebrates the delicious union of sponge, homemade custard and fruit preserve. 

Recipe: Extract from Barker’s of Geraldine: 50 Years Preserved by Michael Barker 


Constance Barker’s Trifle Egg Custard
570ml milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar (can add less or more)
vanilla extract (or essence)

store-bought sponge slab
Barker’s Raspberries fruit preserve
fortified elderberry wine, or sherry
egg custard
frozen blueberries (optional)
whipped cream
blanched almonds
cherries, berries or bananas
grated dark chocolate

To serve
big china or crystal serving bowl


1. To make egg custard: beat all the ingredients together (except vanilla) in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl placed over boiling water. Stir until custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, then add vanilla. Leave to cool, then place in fridge until cold.
2. Slice sponge slab into rectangles about two fingers thick. Lather Barker’s Raspberries fruit preserve liberally onto both sides of sponge pieces, placing them in your serving bowl as you go.
3. Pour liberal slurps of fortified elderberry wine, port or brandy over the jammy fingers. Set aside to soak until custard is chilled enough to use.
4. Remove chilled custard from fridge and beat until smooth. If custard appears to have separated a little, this should be rectified through beating.
5. Pour a generous amount of custard over sponge (use a knife at intervals to part the sponge and let the custard reach the bottom of the bowl, and top with more custard as necessary).
6. In winter, it’s nice to add frozen blueberries over the custard (before spreading the cream on top) for extra fruitiness. This really compliments the jam and is particularly good when you haven’t got fresh summer berries to serve or decorate with.
7. Refrigerate overnight or for at least half a day before required.
8. Spread with whipped cream and decorate with blanched almonds, cherries, berries or bananas, as desired. Finely grate or shave dark chocolate over the top. YUM! (Also very good for breakfast the next day!)

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This is an extract from Barker’s of Geraldine: 50 Years Preserved by Michael Barker, Mary Egan Publishing, hardback, RRP $60.00.

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