Mary Berry shares her classic ‘no baking’ tipsy trifle – ‘Ideal for parties’

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Looking for a classic pudding to enjoy this Platinum Jubilee? Queen of cakes Mary Berry has the perfect tripe recipe which is ideal to serve with family and friends. 

Mary’s classic trifle has been around for decades, and over the years there have been a few adjustments to the recipe. 

No matter which variation you choose, it is easy to make. 

There are three options for the sponges; leftover sponge cake, shop-bought trifle sponges, or homemade Swiss roll – and of them will soak up the sherry. 

If you’re time poor, you can also opt for tinned, packet or fresh custard available at all supermarkets. 

Mary says “this is an ideal dessert to make a day ahead as the flavours have time to mingle”. 

She suggests keeping it in the fridge and scattering over the almonds just before serving. 


One x 400g can of pears in natural juice

One packet of trifle sponges containing six to eight sponges

Strawberry jam – Mary says “strawberry jam is the nicest, and the nicest for colour as well”. 

75ml medium dry sherry

10 ratafia biscuits, or broken almond biscuits such as macaroons

600ml custard

300ml double cream

25g flaked almonds, lightly toasted 

Maraschino cherries or fresh strawberries (optional) 

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1. Drain the pears, reserving the juice, and then cut the fruit into small pieces. 

2. Split the trifle sponges in half and sandwich them together with the strawberry jam. 

3. Measure the sherry into a jug and make up to 150ml with the reserved pear juice. If you don’t wish to have sherry in your trifle then use all of the pear juice – about 150ml.

4. Put half the chopped pears into the base of a glass serving dish about 20cm in diameter and 6cm deep.

5. Arrange half the trifle sponges on top, then add the remaining pears and finally the remaining sponges. 

6. Scatter the ratafias on top and pour the sherry and pear juice mixture over evenly.

7. Carefully pour the custard over the top. 

8. Lightly whip the cream until it just holds its shape and spoon carefully over the custard. Smooth or fluff the surface. 

9. Sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds.

Mary also likes to decorate her trifle with Maraschino cherries.

“The Maraschino [cherries] are infinitely nicer than using glacier cherries,” she commented. 

If you’re not a fan of Maraschino cherries, use strawberries instead. 

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