Mary’s royal cherry trifle
Serves 8 Prep 35 mins, plus chilling Cook 30 mins 450g cherries, reserve a few for the top and stone the rest (or use good-quality canned) 340g jar cherry jam or conserve 450g madeira cake, cut into 1cm slices 100ml kirsch or cherry brandy 10 ratafia or 5 amaretti biscuits, broken 300ml double cream, whipped lightly FOR THE CUSTARD 50g caster sugar 50g cornflour 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk 300ml milk 300ml whipping cream
1 First, make the custard. Tip the caster sugar, cornflour and vanilla into a mixing bowl and add the eggs and egg yolk. Whisk with a hand whisk until smooth and blended.
2 Pour the milk and cream into a pan and heat gently until hot, but do not boil. Pour this over the egg mixture and immediately whisk until blended. Wash the pan and pour the custard back in. Heat gently, stirring constantly until thickened. Don’t panic if the custard starts to look lumpy as it thickens, just continue to heat and whisk until the custard is thick and smooth. Pour into a jug and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool.
3 Tip the stoned cherries into a pan with half the jam or conserve and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 mins until softened and saucy. Remove from the heat. Leave to cool slightly.
4 Spread half the madeira slices generously with the remaining jam, top with the remaining cake slices, then cut in half. Pour the kirsch or brandy into a shallow bowl, dip each sponge sandwich into it, then arrange in the base of a trifle dish (shallow, straightsided, 20cm round glass dish about 5cm deep). Line the edges of the dish first to create a stripy effect, then fill the centre with the remaining sandwiches, pouring over any remaining liquid.
5 Spoon over the cherries and any juice from the pan, then scatter over the broken biscuits. Pour on the cooled custard, then spread whipped cream on top. Decorate with fresh whole cherries. Chill for a few hours, or up to 24 hours before serving. PER SERVING 886 kcals, protein 10g, carbs 94g, fat 50g, saturates 29g, fibre 1g, sugars 75g, salt 0.9g