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Lily Vanilli's Festive Trifle


Trifle conjures up thoughts of school dinners and long Sunday lunches with the grandparents. And while we’re all for nostalgia, it’s always good to try something new, so Ms Vanilli has kindly given the British classic a novel twist exclusively for us. Homemade crumble and pistachios add texture and colour, while the fresh cranberry coulis gives the trifle a festive edge too.


370 per serving

Saturated fat:

14.3g per serving

Preparation time:

15 minutes

Cooking time:

1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 12):

For the coulis:

  • 400g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 120g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the crumble:

  • 110g unsalted butter, cubed and refrigerated
  • 110g oats
  • 110g plain flour
  • 110g dark brown sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 160ml medium sweet sherry
  • 2 x 9 inch vanilla sponge cake layers, cooled and a little stale
  • 400ml custard
  • 150ml whipped double cream to serve (optional)
  • 50g chopped pistachios (You’ll need one large glass bowl, around five litres capacity)


Step 1: To make the coulis, place the cranberries, sugar, zest and 150ml of water in a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until cranberries pop. Pass through a sieve until smooth, then chill.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 160°C (180°C fan assisted) or gas mark 6. Next make the crumble. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and rub with your fingers to form breadcrumbs. Spread on a lined baking tray and put into the freezer for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before crushing up with your hands or a rolling pin.

Step 4: In a bowl, stir together the sherry and coulis. Place half of one layer of cake in the bottom of your glass bowl. Ladle a layer of custard on top, drizzle with the coulis. Repeat to the top.

Step 5: Finish with a layer of coulis, crumble and whipped cream. Finally, dust with the chopped pistachios.

Adapted from Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth (£20, Canongate Books)



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