Monday, 28 January 2013

Unconsidered Trifles

A recent ‘trifle’ post by Gill [That British Woman] reminded me of a trifle recipe I had not made for ages – and so I thought I’d do one for our Sunday pudding. I first tasted this 35 years ago – I’d just started teaching, and it was frequently served by the older ladies in the church as dessert when they had guests for Sunday lunch.

It’s called Hot Swiss Trifle – because it is served hot, made with a Swiss Roll, and has similar components to a trifle [obvious really]


It is also a brilliant store-cupboard standby, and dead simple to assemble. You need 2 eggs, half pint of milk, sugar, some sort of fruit filling, and a Swiss roll. And a Pyrex dish [it must be ovenproof – don’t use Granny’s Edwardian cut glass trifle bowl, please!!] The one in the picture is 7” diameter/2pint capacity

swiss roll basicsBegin by slicing your Swiss roll into thin slices – mine here is made with a Sainsbury’s Basic chocolate roll**, and I got 12 slices from it. Stand them up round the edge of your dish.

Any spare bits of sponge should be placed in the bottom of the dish. Now put your fruit in the dish. This time I used some cranberries [Xmas remnants] which were in the freezer, I microwaved them with some sugar before tipping them in. You can use almost any fruit; sliced peaches, mandarins in juice, stewed apple…for a luxury ‘Black Forest’ feel, use a can of cherry pie filling and chocolate Swiss roll.

Now separate your eggs, and make a simple custard with the yolks, the milk and sugar [I put in ½tsp custard powder or cornflour to stabilise it and stop it ‘splitting’] Pour the custard over the fruit.

DSCF5181Make a meringue with the egg whites and more sugar. Spoon on top. Bake at 180ºC for 10 minutes until golden. [I sprinkled a few flaked almonds on top for extra ‘poshness’]

It’s a good pud because it is easy, and it uses things you usually have to hand, it is adaptable and you can make it cheaply, or use more luxurious ingredients if you want to impress. If the oven is on already, at a lower temperature, then it is just as happy to go in and cook a little longer. You can make it on Saturday evening, and zap it in the microwave to reheat for Sunday lunchtime.

I have also made it in individual ramekins, putting a slice of Swiss roll in the base, then the fruit [or even a spoonful of jam] next, then the custard and then the meringue. You can use plain Rolls if you haven’t a chocolate one to hand.**Until 11th Feb, you can get 3 Basic SRs for 74p. 

I couldn’t remember which bit of Shakespeare ‘unconsidered trifle’ comes from, so I looked it up. It is A Winter’s Tale – very appropriate as this is a great pud for cold weather.

“My father named me Autolycus; who being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise snapper-up of unconsidered trifles”


  1. Mmmmmmmmmm my mum used to make that in the 1970s, and just reading the title I found myslef tasting it... yum! Happy memories.

  2. Hello C - good to hear from you. Thought of you yesterday when preaching at Dibley!

  3. I love the way you say "make a simple custard with the yolks"! I always end up with sweet scrambled eggs. I didn't know you could add cornflour to stop this.

  4. Just what I need for the weekend! Will be trying it out this week - I may have to scale it up a little, as it might have to feed a lot at the weekend! Looks great - and very simple too xx

  5. That's a very good pudding, Angela, though I might just make a Birds custard, instead of the clever way! Mine rarely works.

    1. Mine always curdled till someone told me the cornflour trick! using half a tsp of Birds is just as good, and adds a little more colour too.

  6. Sounds wonderful. I love a good pud.

  7. Crikey, I last had this at a dinner party at a friend's house in the 1970's I think!
    It was yummy then and thanks for reminding me!
    (I fancy doing a retro dinner menu of prawn cocktail, steak Diane and the trifle.....)

  8. I have only ever had trifle once a couple of years ago, i am sure it was strawberry trifle or am i imagining it. I did like it but i lack a sweet tooth so i haven't had it since.


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