Excellent Trifle


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook

The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

The recipe given here is for an early style of trifle, without any colorful layers of jelly or fruit. Instead, the trifle architecture consists of layers of boozy biscuits, custard, and syllabub, just as the first English trifles did in the 1750s. The result is excellent and complex, despite the absence of the later embellishments.

The syllabub layer is actually a dish on its own. In the eighteenth century, syllabub was regularly served at parties in special bell-top glasses, with each serving decorated with a rosemary sprig. There were three different types: Plain syllabub mixed together sweetened, spiced milk and cider or ale, which was left to curdle, producing a light froth on top and a boozy whey underneath. Whipped syllabub, which called for cream instead of milk and added more alcohol, created a creamier, more solid froth, which was eaten with a small spoon before the booze below was drunk. The everlasting syllabub called for cream and less alcohol, so it did not separate, making it suitable for trifles such as this one.