It seems almost comical that we serve trifle at 4th of July…but we do, and somehow get away with it. It is by far one of the most English desserts I can think of, in fact it congers up images of school meals for my husband and only my sheer delight in serving it breaks the link of that memory for him. Traditionally an English Christmas pudding, trifle has a history as rich as it does variations. I have never tasted a trifle that did not reflect the mood of the host — sometimes soaked in booze, gelatine and always with custard, the only thing that ties one Trifle from the other is that is most commonly served in a glass trifle dish which allows the pudding to act as a decorative addition to any table.
My first run in with trifle, left me woozy and frankly confused, it was a painful reminder that I should really ask for smaller portions when I try something for the first time. Every bite was an agonising array of jelly, booze, mushy cake and equally squeamish fruit, how I pulled off an Oscar worthy performance of enjoying every last bite of my overly generous portion is beyond recollection. The event scarred me for years until I gathered the courage to try a fresher more vibrant version that captured my taste buds and had me all but reaching for the Union Jack in a display of delighted (albeit adopted) patriotism for English cuisine.
Whilst my recipe for trifle is bordering on not being a trifle at all, it is a mix of the trifle recipes that I have come to adore coupled with my love of Fool. The bright berries, crisp white of the meringue and cream make it a patriotic display piece that always has pride of place on our 4th of July table. To capture my taste of 4th of July trifle , simply layer fresh meringue, a light drizzle of Brandy, berries and freshly whipped cream until you reach the top of your bowl, store in the fridge overnight to ensure that all the flavours have time to merry and then serve chilled to a crowd of hungry guests.
Add a twist to your next trifle recipe by incorporating chocolate shavings or cocoa powder, brownies or espresso soaked lady fingers, exotic fruits or simply serve your goto recipe in individual pots (I love using champers glasses served with a tall desert spoon),