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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lemon Berry Trifle

Although the season has passed, I admit this trifle is one of my top five favorite summer desserts. However, it can be enjoyed any time of the year if you use frozen berries, or some fresh berries available in supermarkets year round nowadays. The original recipe is based on blackberries but the past year or so, I've used  raspberries because of the raspberry glut at my house. I believe you can mix and match berries with great success.

In my household of two, I make individual trifles rather than one big one. Cake in a trifle is supposed to soak up juices but by the time we could finish a whole trifle, everything would be disagreeably soggy. If you are interested in a big trifle, just multiply amounts and place in a trifle dish or glass bowl.

Unfortunately I have lost my copy of the original recipe and have searched unsuccessfully both around the house and online. For some time I haven't needed to use the recipe since it is composed of several items brought together. Use what you find below as a guideline and tweak it to your liking.


Lemon Berry Trifle

Serves 3-4

12 ounces, by weight, berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or combination)
6 T sugar
one slice pound cake per serving, purchased or home made
3 T Chambord or limoncello, optional
1/2 c lemon curd bottled or home made
1 c whipping cream

Mix berries with sugar and lightly mash them with a fork or potato masher. If you are using strawberries, you may prefer to slice them. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes, but longer will likely result in more juice. 

Whip cream to soft peak stage. Lightly fold lemon curd into the cream, leaving streaks of cream visible.

Cut pound cake into 3/4-inch cubes.

Compose the dessert:  place the cake cubes in the bottom of a wine glass or dessert dish. If you are using it, drizzle the Chambord or limoncello over the cake. Spoon the macerated berries on top. Finally, add a generous dollop of lemon curd cream.


This is another one of those recipes which can be changed to suit tastes of the cook. The proportion of lemon curd to cream can be varied so it is heavier in lemon or cream flavors. You may also want to add a T of sugar to the cream, although it is plenty sweet for my tastes.

You may buy the lemon curd, but to make sure it tastes as good as possible, use real whipped cream.

If you haven't a scale, 12 ounces of raspberries equals about 1 1/2 cups; 12 ounces of blackberries are closer to 2 cups.

Other cakes will work well here, too, although I am not sure that angel food cake would be as good, partly because of its airy texture. I have often used Hot Milk Cake, although if I know I am going to use it in this recipe I will use lemon extract as a substitute for the almond extract called for in that recipe.

I think other fruits that are complemented by lemon would work in place of the berries. I'll bet peaches or nectarines would be tasty. 

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