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Sherry trifle

A heavy-based pan is essential, or the custard will overheat and the eggs will scramble. Do not be impatient and attempt to hurry the custard by raising the heat, or it will turn lumpy.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
8 trifle sponges, cut in half horizontally
100 g (4 oz) raspberry jam
4 tablespoons medium sherry
385 g (13 1/2 oz) can raspberries, drained with syrup reserved
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons caster sugar
600 ml (1 pint) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla flavouring
300 ml (1/2 pint) whipping or double cream
red glace cherries, halved
a little angelica, to finish

method

1. Spread the trifle sponges with the jam, then sandwich together again. Cut each across in half and arrange in the base of a glass serving bowl.

2. Stir the sherry into the reserved raspberry syrup, then pour over the sponges. Scatter the raspberries over the top.

3. Whisk the eggs and sugar lightly together in a large bowl. Heat the milk until almost boiling in a small saucepan, then pour on to the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly.

4. Strain the mixture into a heavy-based pan. [J] Cook over low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

5. Pour the custard over the raspberries and sponges and leave to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight.

6. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Spread one-third of the cream over the custard and mark the surface with a fork or small palette knife, if liked. Put the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe a border of cream and a lattice on the trifle, then decorate with cherries and angelica. Serve at once, or cover and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours.

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