This classic Christmas trifle recipe is the ultimate Christmas dessert. This easy mulled wine trifle recipe from Annie Bell is a real showstopper with layers of custard, cream, sponge and jelly. A Christmas twist on a classic British dessert – your mulled wine trifle would make a great alternative to the usual festive desserts. This recipe serves 8 people and will take around 1hr and 10 mins to prepare and cook. It’s best to make this dessert ahead of time and prepare in advance so all you have to do on Christmas Day is add the finishing touches. This dessert is a delicious, classic trifle that you’ll want to make time and time again. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or covered tightly in clingfilm and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- For the base:
- 150ml sweet white wine
- 50ml brandy
- 100ml fresh orange juice, sieved
- 6 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 gelatine leaves, e.g. Supercook, cut into broad strips (or ½ a sachet of powdered gelatine)
- approx. 6 trifle sponges
- 150g raspberry jam
- For the custard:
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 80g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- 425ml full-cream milk
- 2 strips of orange peel, removed with a potato peeler
- For the topping:
- 300ml double cream
- Jellied orange and lemon slices
- Or sugar spun stars
Bring the wine, brandy, orange juice, spices and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then leave to infuse for 5 mins. In the meantime, place the gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 5 mins, then drain. Pour some of the hot wine solution over the soaked gelatine, stir until it dissolves, then stir this back into the rest of the solution.
Arrange the trifle sponges over the base of a 20cm trifle bowl 8 – 9cm deep, cutting them to fit. Strain over the wine solution, leave to cool, then cover and chill for several hours or until set.
In the meantime make the custard. Whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar together in a medium-size non-stick saucepan until smooth, then whisk in the flour a third at a time, until you have a thick creamy paste.
Bring the milk to the boil in a small saucepan with the orange peel, and whisk it into the egg mixture a little at a time to begin with, until it is all incorporated.
Return the pan to a low heat and cook for a few minutes until the custard thickens, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to disperse any lumps that form; if necessary you can give it a quick whisk. The custard shouldn’t actually boil, but the odd bubble will ensure that it’s hot enough to thicken properly.
Cook it for a few minutes longer, again stirring constantly. Discard the orange zest, pour the custard into a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool.
To assemble the trifle, work the jam in a bowl to loosen it, then spread it over the surface of the sponges and jelly. Give the custard a stir with a spoon to smooth it, and spread this over the jam. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks and spread it over the top of the custard. Cover and chill for a couple of hours or overnight. Decorate with jellied slices just before serving.
This Christmas dessert is best made in advance so each layer has time to set.