Individual trifles flavoured with sherry, figs and vanilla. A simple layered dessert of sherry soaked sponge, fig compote, custard and cream!
Our individual trifles are a simple dessert, with layers of sherry soaked sponges; fresh figs; fig compote; custard and topped with a thick layer of cream.
Serve this flavoursome dessert as individual trifles as we have here. Alternatively, layer up this sherry trifle recipe in a larger glass trifle dish, whatever works best using the dishes you have in your cupboards!
I always like to use glass dishes, that way to get to see the various layers. Particularly pretty when used in this trifle as you can place fresh slices of fig around the edge of the glass!
What is in a traditional sherry trifle recipe?
A traditional sherry trifle recipe includes layers of sponge, soaked in sherry, or some other sweet alcohol. Followed by layers of fruit or jam, custard and topped with a thick layer of cream.
You can then decorate the top of your trifle with fruit, grated chocolate or toasted almonds (as we have done here).
How to make sherry trifle?
The steps that follow explain how to make individual sherry trifles, and it’s a simple process with very little cooking involved!
How to make the custard?
How to make the fig compote?
Layer the individual trifles:
What is the best sherry for trifle?
I find that the best sherry for a traditional sherry trifle is one of the dark, sweet sherries. I recommend using a sweet sherry like a Pedro Ximenez or a Moscatel.
You can use a drier sherry like an Oloroso but this results in a far sharper, drier flavour to the finished dessert. It can also taste too alcoholic in my opinion and it knocks the flavour balance out.
Do not use a dry sherry, like a Fino, this will not taste right in trifle at all.
Other alternatives to sherry?
If you do not like sherry then try some other alternatives like a Madiera, a fruit brandy, or a sweet dessert wine.
Alcohol free alternative?
If serving this trifle to children, or those who don’t drink, substitute the sherry with fresh apple or orange juice to soak the sponges.
I love fresh custard in a sherry trifle and don’t think you can beat it for flavour. Also you don’t want too thick a custard, you want the custard to run and fill the gaps between the fruit.
However, if you do not have time to make your own custard then you can substitute with a good quality, shop bought, vanilla custard.
The fragrance from using fresh figs in the compote really adds to the flavour of this dish. However, if you can’t get fresh figs simply add some shop bought fig jam.
Alternatively you add in other fruits if you would prefer. Raspberries, peaches, apricots, all work in a trifle.
For a really quick cheats version, when my cook time has been really limited, I have been know to buy a jar of fruits soaked in alcohol and added this to my trifle!
The difference between double cream and whipping cream:
I have used whipping cream in this sherry trifle recipe as it doesn’t overwhip quite so easily, has a slightly lighter texture making it easier to spoon over the trifle.
The high fat content in double cream makes it ideal for whipping, so you can use that instead if you prepare. Just take care when whipping double cream not to make it too stiff, otherwise it will not spread over the trifle.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
There are elements of this traditional sherry trifle recipe that can be made in advance. Both the custard and the fig compote can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
Just make sure that if storing custard, you place a piece of cling film directly on top of the custard to stop a skin from forming!
How to store leftover trifle?
I like to make these individual trifles, that way each person has their own trifle and you don’t have any leftovers.
However, if you decide to make a bigger trifle, then simply cover any leftovers with cling film and store in the fridge.
Trifle will keep no more than a day once it is assembled, as the custard and cream tend to run together with the fruit juices and sherry. Whilst still tasty it will not look the prettiest!
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you enjoyed this recipe then try some of our other delicious desserts:
- Lime & Ginger No-bake Cheesecake
- Baked Vanilla Cheesecake
- Profiteroles with Chestnut Cream
- Christmas Pavlova
- Blackberry Parfait
- Lemon Tart with Limoncello Ice-cream
- Eton Mess
- Lemon Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly
- Vanilla Panna Cotta with Orange Jelly
- Lemon Posset
- Chocolate & Salted Caramel Mousse
Individual Sherry Trifles
- Dessert glasses 10cm (4") diameter x 4cm (1.5") deep
- 3 egg yolks (medium)
- 75 g caster sugar
- 10 g cornflour
- 10 g plain flour
- 250 ml whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 fresh figs
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 8 sponge fingers
- 8 tbsp sweet sherry (use a sweet sherry like Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel)
- 4 fresh figs (thinly sliced)
- 600 ml whipping cream
- 25 g flaked almonds (lightly toasted)
- Place the egg yolks, flours and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light, pale and fluffy.
- Pour the milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and slowly heat to just under boiling. Do not allow the milk to boil!
- Spoon a little of the warm milk into the eggs and fully incorporate, repeat this step again to allow the temperature of the egg mixture to come closer to that of the milk mixture, this will stop the eggs cooking too quickly and risk scrambling.
- Now add the egg mixture back into the pan with the remainder of the milk and gently heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, usually about 5 minutes. The mixture may go lumpy, do not worry, just remove from the heat and whisk vigorously to remove any lumps.
- Once thickened, remove the custard from heat and place into a bowl. Cover the mixture with clingfilm, directly onto the top of the custard as this will stop a skin forming. Allow to cool completely before using.
- This mixture will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator until needed.
- Chop up the fresh figs and place them in a small saucepan along with the caster sugar. Cook over a low/medium heat for 20 minutes until the figs have broken down and the mixture has thickened and looks soft and sticky.
- Take the compote off the heat and place the figs in a bowl and set aside to cool. Place the cooled compote into the fridge if not serving immediately.
- Place 2 sponge fingers into each bowl and pour 1 tbsp of sherry over each sponge finger.
- Next cut the fresh figs into thin slices and arrange these around the edge of the glass bowl.
- Spoon the fig compote over the sponge fingers, dividing the compote equally between the 4 serving dishes.
- Pour or spoon over the custard, dividing it between each of the 4 bowls. Allow the custard to run and fill in any gaps.
- Meanwhile whip the whipping cream to a thick consistency and spoon in a layer over the custard.
- Finally sprinkle some toasted almonds over the top of each dish and either serve immediately or pop into the fridge until ready to enjoy.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook
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