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Sherry Trifle with Brandy Custard

This sherry- and brandy-infused trifle was inspired by a Victorian recipe.

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2004


  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 14 ladyfingers, halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam (9 ounces)
  • 1 cup cream sherry
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 16 amaretti (Italian almond cookies), broken (about 1 1/4 cups)


  1. Put yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until mixture is pale and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. On low speed, beat in flour and salt. Gradually beat in half of warm milk.

  2. Pour milk-yolk mixture into remaining milk in pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.

  3. Transfer to an ice-water bath; let cool, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla and brandy. Place plastic wrap on surface. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.

  4. Beat cream just until stiff peaks form. Fold into pastry cream. Place 7 ladyfinger halves at bottom of a 12-cup trifle dish; spread with one quarter of jam. Pour in one quarter of sherry. Spoon one quarter pastry cream on top. Sprinkle with one-third each almonds and amaretti. Repeat layering 3 more times (last layer does not need almonds and amaretti). Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.


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