Upside-Down Trifle

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Here’s a novel idea for a Christmas dessert – a trifle made in a mould, with gelatine added to set the custard and turned out so that the pretty sponge cake and fruit base is uppermost.


  • 6 dl/1 pint prepared lime or lemon jelly
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Chinese gooseberry
  • 100 g/4 oz green grapes
  • 1 packet of 4 trifle sponge cakes
  • raspberry jam


    Select a cake tin or shallow mould, preferably 20 cm (8 in) in diameter and of not less than 1-litre (-pint) capacity. A 20-cm (8-in) cake tin would do, but you can find some excellent shallow moulds that have come over from the Continent in many of the cookware shops.

    Prepare the jelly first and allow to cool. Slice the banana, peel and slice the Chinese gooseberry to reveal its beautiful green flesh, and halve and deseed the grapes. Sandwich the trifle sponge cakes with raspberry jam and cut into chunky pieces. Pour a little of the jelly into the base of the mould and allow to set. Then arrange the fruit and the sponge cakes (dipping each piece of sponge cake in a little jelly first) attractively over the base. Spoon a little more jelly and chill to fix the decoration in place. Then spoon in the remaining jelly and chill until set firm before adding the custard layer.

    Measure the milk for the custard into a saucepan and set over low heat, allowing it to become quite hot. Measure the water into a teacup, sprinkle in the gelatine and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. Crack the egg yolks into a basin, add the sugar and, using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until creamy and light. Gradually stir in the hot milk, blend well and then return the mixture to the saucepan. Add the soaked gelatine and stir over low heat just long enough to dissolve the gelatine. Draw off the heat, strain into a basin, stir in the sherry and allow to cool.

    When the mixture is cold and shows signs of setting, lightly whip the cream and fold gently but evenly into the custard. Pour at once into the mould over the jelly and fruit layer. Chill until set firm.

    When ready to serve, loosen round the top edges of the mould with a knife. Dip in hot water (as hot as the hand can bear) for a few seconds. Then invert on to a plate. Serve with cream.