Recipe for Trifle Pudding

Amma and her sister peddi were big clippers and collectors of recipes…..peddi worked as the Assistant Librarian of a huge library and often, magazines and periodicals trashed by the library would make it to the house….also at church there was a library run by the womens group….people would borrow books and magazines and also donate what they had already read… there were the recipes in the daily newspapers…..womens weekly, womens world and some other foreign magazines I vividly remember…..i think somewhere on my loft, still is an ageing file with yellowing cutouts from years of this indulgence…..Not just recipes, they would collect knitting patterns, sewing projects and household tips…

Every once in a not so often while we’d have western style puddings, cakes, stewed fruit, jams and marmalades, casseroles, meatloaf, roast etc….….(they said it helped preserve the excitement and exclusivity of the preparation….but I think it was more to do with the time they had and the availability of ingredients….) we’d eagerly wait for a festive occasion, birthdays in particular cos we could request what we wanted….and hope that foreign returning relatives would be invited for a meal where the food laid out would be kicked up a few notches to suitably impress the relatives!! I always loved this extra dressed up meal….the stainless steel utensils would be swapped for my grandmother’s precious dinner set(the guests had to be really important to get this out of the cupboard!!)…or sundry glass bowls would make an appearance …. What we would be eating from was fully dependent on who would be eating with us!!

In all of this, trifle puddings were my absolute favourite…I think it was because it contained almost 4 of my favourite desserts….cake, custard, jelly and fruit!!Think amma also chose it based on the fact that most of it could be made the previous day, and two of them, the jelly and custard is made from a packet….. and simply assembled in a jiffy when needed…..infact the cake would be made a couple of days earlier ..…. I’d hang on…under the guise of “helping”….watching hawk like if any goldspot (fizzy orange drink like fanta….made in india, but the company was bought over by coco cola) was left in the bottle so I could get a few sips…. (no we grew up not surrounded by fizzy drinks…it was a really rare treat)…..extra custard, extra jelly and fruit would be devoured….all this for peeling a few oranges and apples!! I think I developed my sweet jaw from childhood, because I don’t have many memories of food….though all good….but I distinctly remember occasions by the desserts served….and I would wolf down my food (getting as subtle as possible glares from amma) and wait impatiently for dessert…… I think I can choke on the memories (not the custard silly) every time I make a trifle pudding!!

This one was made when we had some friends over for dinner….i could have avoided the cream looking like a lump on top had i not squirted it directly from the carton!! in the hurry to finish taking a picture, I didn’t get the best ones….orange flavoured jelly is my favourite….i siphoned off the leftovers and substituted them for dinner on two consecutive nights!!


200 gms slab of Plain vanilla sponge cake (either home made or store bought)

(sometimes I omit the cake and only add about 20-25 roughly crushed marie biscuits)

½ cup of orange fizzy drink (I use fanta)

½ litre milk (I used low fat)

2-3 T sugar

3 T vanilla flavoured custard powder

300 ml water

1 packet flavoured jelly crystals (I used orange)

2-2 ½ cups chopped assorted fresh fruit (I used apple, orange, sweet lime, banana, grapes)

1 T dry fruit of choice (I used a few each – walnuts, pistachios and raisins)

2 T fresh Cream

Boil the milk, add sugar and dissolve, mix the custard powder in 2 T of cold water and add gently stirring to the milk. Cook stirring continuously for a few minutes till it thickens. Set aside, cool and refrigerate till required.

Make the jelly according to the instructions on the pack and refrigerate till set.

In a serving bowl, place the cake cut into 2-3 inch pieces at the bottom. Pour a few tablespoons of fanta over the cake to moisten it well (do not make it soggy).

spoon in the custard over the cake layer.

arrange the chopped and peeled fruit over the custard

spoon in the jelly to make the top most layer

garnish with whipped cream. chill for a couple of hours before serving. ensure you serve the pudding in such a way that each serving gets a part of every layer….!!

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Priti says:

    Yummy Trifle…the pic is lovely…love reading your writeup…wonderfully written

  2. easycrafts says:

    wow…pic itself is so inviting…

  3. Swapna says:

    Anu… I had this urge to come and search ur attic….superb post and the snap looks just fine.

  4. Medhaa says:

    this looks lovely, This one of the few ways I eat the fruits

  5. sra says:

    One of my most favouritest puddings! Nice piece, interesting to read. I collected recipes and bound them into a book as well, barely look at them now.
    I’ve never assembled a trifle on my own but this is the first I’ve heard of Fanta/Goldspot being used to wet the cake – it’s usually some fruit syrup so this must be interesting. I hate it when they use papaya or tinned fruit to fill the trifle, though – feel cheated!

  6. Cynthia says:

    I love trifle and you have inspired me to make some soon!

  7. bhags says:

    A few days back i was reading an Agatha Chirstie mystery and there a sagacious old aunt mentions some peculiarities about Trifle……and I was all set to research about trifle and how to make it and stuff……….and here you have done it all……….loved that orange color, and guess my research has just ended here 🙂

  8. it sure sounds delicious..i have been wishing to make old english trifle for a long time, but thinking of the rich ingredients that go into it, I am backing off for now!! But this sure sounds yummy!! 🙂

  9. sowmya says:

    but the recipe seems to be incomplete…am not sure..

    soumya, yes it was incomplete…thanks for letting me know….i inadvertently deleted a bit of it!! thanks a tonne

  10. sowmya says:

    the colour is so bright and lovely..looks delicious..

  11. karishma says:

    Pic is very tempting…and your childhood memories brought back memories of my own! I’ve seen that different people have different ways of layering a trifle haven’t written what you layer on top of the cake…I thought the recipe was incomplete (absentmindedly, perhaps?)…

    yes kary…the recipe was incomplete….i deleted it without noticing…have updated now…thanks for letting me know…

  12. Asha says:

    Beautiful bright color, great looking Trifle!:)

  13. Divya says:

    trifle pudding looks delicious..i am gonna try this one with marie biscuits!!great entry!!

  14. arundathi says:

    nice – my mom is also a huge recipe clipper – she has loads that she hasn’t bothered to try. more a recipe hoarder, i guess! 🙂

  15. Raaga says:

    looks yummy 🙂

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