Festive Winter Trifle Recipe

Trifle is one of the mainstays of the our traditional Christmas lunch so I thought I would try and spice it up with a bit of Gullane Glögg and even though I say so myself it was superb! Here is my version of a festive winter trifle.

I am a follower of Felicity Cloake who writes a "How to make the perfect..." column for the Guardian in which she describes all the variations you could do for a recipe and her tried and tested conclusion of the "perfect" final recipe and I have generally found her recipes to be fabulous and have a couple of the books from the series. I have adapted her winter trifle recipe here using Gullane Glögg 

Serves 6–8 (depending on enthusiasm for trifle)


  • For the fruit layer
  • a 350g bag of frozen mixed berries
  • 5-6 tablespoons Gullane Glögg
  • For the custard:
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit in half and seeds scraped out (or use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 6 egg yolks (you could use the egg whites to make meringues or even pavlova!)
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • For the other layers:
  • 1 packet boudoir biscuits (also sold as lady fingers or savoiardi)
  • 100ml sweet sherry
  • 1 packet ratafia or amaretti biscuits
  • 300ml double cream
  • 15g flaked almonds, toasted
  • Seeds of ¼ pomegranate


  • Start by mixing the frozen fruit with the Gullane Glögg. Set aside to defrost.
  • Meanwhile, make the custard (or you can just use some ready made custard, all supermarkets sell delicious fresh dairy custard!)
    • Put the milk and cream into a thick-bottomed pan with the vanilla pod and seeds on a gentle heat.
    • Stir, then bring it to just below a simmer; do not allow it to boil.
    • Beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a large bowl.
    • Remove the vanilla pod from the hot milk and pour the milk on to the yolk and sugar mixture, stirring all the time.
    • Turn the heat down to medium-low, and pour the custard back into the pan. Stirring slowly and continuously, cook until it coats the back of a wooden spoon – the longer you cook it, the thicker it will be. If it doesn't appear to be thickening after 10 minutes, you may have the heat slightly too low, but don't turn it up dramatically or you'll spoil all your hard work. (Alternatively, if you're not feeling terribly brave, suspend a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, pour the yolk and milk mixture into that, and proceed as above.) Bear in mind you'll be tied to the stove for at least 20 minutes, so put some good music on. Decant into a jug to cool, pressing some clingfilm on to the surface to prevent a skin forming.
  • Line a glass bowl with boudoir biscuits and, spoon the spiced fruit over the top.
  • Pour over the sherry and then scatter over the amaretti.
  • Dollop the cooled custard on top, and then cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until set.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks, spoon on top of the trifle and chill for at least two hours before serving.
  • Just before serving, arrange the almonds and pomegranate seeds on top – if you leave them there too long the seeds will bleed colour into the cream, and the nuts will go soggy.

Enjoy your Spiced Winter Trifle and try to resist seconds...

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