A mere trifle

Trifle used to be the simplest thing – sponge cake (usually a left over from an actual cake, not something made specially) fruit and jelly, (with the juice from the tinned fruit which was generally used) custard and cream (probably tinned). School trifle was very much along the same lines, except the cream was some sort of dairy product which bore little resemblance to actual cream.

We might sneer now with all the posh and fancy recipes available – even for ‘traditional’ English trifle, but no-one could fail to love it – the different textures, sweet and sour, cream and fruity, smooth and sharp, cool… However it as made it was always a favourite.

Looking back to my old recipe book  dated to the 1930’s but I have no doubt it was written in the 1920’s, there are a whole variety of trifles! Some are what you might imagine, some sound delicious and which you might have a go at making – maybe interpreting with a modern ‘twist’, and some which sound slightly strange:

  • banana
  • caramel
  • chocolate
  • coconut
  • coffee
  • cranberry
  • date
  • fig
  • ginger
  • jelly
  • macaroon
  • meringue
  • orange
  • peach
  • pineapple
  • plain
  • raspberry and banana
  • ratafia
  • rich
  • tangerine
  • Valentine

For me the delicious include ginger, macaroon, ratafia and tangerine, the strange are the date and fig – even though I love both fruit, and some use ingredients I would have thought of as very modern, such  as cranberries and caramel.

I’m going to have a look at these recipes, and maybe try some of them!

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