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Anglo-Italian Trifle

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

I don't think I could write a book that didn't include a recipe for trifle somewhere - and this, I tell you, is the trifle to end all trifles. The shiny black of the berries, the soft whiteness of the mascarpone above them and the golden toastiness of the almonds on top, make it, in the first instance, beautiful to look at.

The Anglo factor is provided by the trifle sponges, jam and hedgerow-redolent fruit; the amaretti, limoncello - or any other lemon liqueur - and tiramisu-like eggy mascarpone layer fulfil the Italian side of the partnership.

I don't think I could write a book that didn't include a recipe for trifle somewhere - and this, I tell you, is the trifle to end all trifles. The shiny black of the berries, the soft whiteness of the mascarpone above them and the golden toastiness of the almonds on top, make it, in the first instance, beautiful to look at.

The Anglo factor is provided by the trifle sponges, jam and hedgerow-redolent fruit; the amaretti, limoncello - or any other lemon liqueur - and tiramisu-like eggy mascarpone layer fulfil the Italian side of the partnership.

Anglo-Italian Trifle
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 12-14

Metric Cups
  • 8 trifle sponges
  • 200 grams blackcurrant jam
  • 200 grams amaretti biscuits
  • 250 millilitres limoncello or other lemon liqueur
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 750 grams blackberries
  • 2 large eggs (separated)
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 750 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 50 grams flaked almonds
  • 8 savoiardi cookies
  • 1 cup blackcurrant jam
  • 7 ounces amaretti cookies
  • 1 cup limoncello or other lemon liqueur
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1¾ pounds blackberries
  • 2 large eggs (separated)
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 cups mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup slivered almonds

Method

  1. Split the trifle sponges and make little sandwiches of them using 150g / two-thirds cup of the jam, then wodge them into the base of your glass bowl. Reduce the amaretti biscuits to rubble in the processor and, reserving some crumbs for sprinkling over the top at the end, scatter most of them evenly over the sponges and then pour over them 150ml / two-thirds cup of the limoncello.
  2. Put the remaining 50g / one-third cup of jam into a wide saucepan with the lemon juice and melt over a low heat, then tumble in the blackberries and turn in the heat for a minute or so just until the juices start running. Tip these over the biscuit-sprinkled, liqueur-soused sponge sandwiches to cover and leave this while you get on with the next bit.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until you have a thick smooth yellow paste. I use my Kitchen Aid for this, but any old hand-held electric mixer or whisk would be fine. Still whisking, drip in another 50ml / 3 tablespoons limoncello and continue whisking away until you have a light moussey mixture. Whisk in the mascarpone until everything is smoothly combined, and when this is done add the remaining 50ml / 3 tablespoons of limoncello.
  4. Finally, in another bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm, but not dry, and fold these into the lemony, eggy mascarpone mixture. Now spread this gently over the blackberries in the glass bowl.
  5. Cover the thus-far assembled trifle with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for the flavours and textures to steep and meld for at least 4 hours and up to 24. Take the trifle out of the fridge for about 40 minutes to an hour before it's needed (depending on how cold your fridge runs) to get to coolish room temperature. Not long before you want to eat, toast the flaked almonds by tossing them in a dry, oil-less pan over medium heat until they are turning gold and flashed bronze in parts, then tip them on to a plate. When they're cool, mix them with the reserved amaretti crumbs. Remove the clingfilm from the bowl and scatter the nuts and crumbs over the pale, set surface. Dig in and serve, making sure to heap the full triple-banded layer on each plate: the lemony, almondy, cream-swathed berrieness makes this the perfect ending to a large, lazy summer lunch.
  1. Split the savoiardi cookies and make little sandwiches of them using 150g / two-thirds cup of the jam, then wodge them into the base of your glass bowl. Reduce the amaretti cookies to rubble in the processor and, reserving some crumbs for sprinkling over the top at the end, scatter most of them evenly over the sponges and then pour over them 150ml / two-thirds cup of the limoncello.
  2. Put the remaining 50g / one-third cup of jam into a wide saucepan with the lemon juice and melt over a low heat, then tumble in the blackberries and turn in the heat for a minute or so just until the juices start running. Tip these over the biscuit-sprinkled, liqueur-soused sponge sandwiches to cover and leave this while you get on with the next bit.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks with the superfine sugar until you have a thick smooth yellow paste. I use my Kitchen Aid for this, but any old hand-held electric mixer or whisk would be fine. Still whisking, drip in another 50ml / 3 tablespoons limoncello and continue whisking away until you have a light moussey mixture. Whisk in the mascarpone until everything is smoothly combined, and when this is done add the remaining 50ml / 3 tablespoons of limoncello.
  4. Finally, in another bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm, but not dry, and fold these into the lemony, eggy mascarpone mixture. Now spread this gently over the blackberries in the glass bowl.
  5. Cover the thus-far assembled trifle with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for the flavours and textures to steep and meld for at least 4 hours and up to 24. Take the trifle out of the fridge for about 40 minutes to an hour before it's needed (depending on how cold your fridge runs) to get to coolish room temperature. Not long before you want to eat, toast the slivered almonds by tossing them in a dry, oil-less pan over medium heat until they are turning gold and flashed bronze in parts, then tip them on to a plate. When they're cool, mix them with the reserved amaretti crumbs. Remove the clingfilm from the bowl and scatter the nuts and crumbs over the pale, set surface. Dig in and serve, making sure to heap the full triple-banded layer on each plate: the lemony, almondy, cream-swathed berrieness makes this the perfect ending to a large, lazy summer lunch.

Additional Information

I use blackcurrant rather than blackberry jam, simply because I want a more jellied, less pippy smearing between the sponges, but it wouldn't really matter which you go for. Similarly, feel free to use rum in place of the limoncello.

I use blackcurrant rather than blackberry jam, simply because I want a more jellied, less pippy smearing between the sponges, but it wouldn't really matter which you go for. Similarly, feel free to use rum in place of the limoncello.

Tell us what you think

What 7 Others have said

  • This trifle has become a family Christmas favourite. Easy to make, quick to impress, luscious and indulgent. Thank you Nigella!

    Posted by Emjay22 on 26th December 2015
  • Hi, I've got a question here. What can I use to substitute these 3 ingredients? - trifle sponge (can I use the regular sponge cake?) -amaretti biscuits -limoncello (can I just use lemon juice instead??) Thanks!! ~Elyn~

    Posted by e_lynn on 23rd August 2011
  • I made this last weekend. It's absolutely stunning. My family couldn't get enough of it! I loved the tangy taste as I'm not really into uber sweet things..My brother who never eats desert had two helpings!!

    Posted by SueScott67 on 31st August 2014
  • Made this trifle for a dinner party and was absolutely delicious! Everybody liked it. It was easy to make and i can honestly say i will never make a traditional trifle again!

    Posted by Ddarwen on 26th December 2013
  • Hi, i never had recipe like this recipe in the world it's amazing and the cream melt in my mouth it's delicious thanks nigella

    Posted by Wshis on 21st October 2012
  • THIS IS THE MOST FAB DESSERT I HAVE EVER MADE, ALTHOUGH I MUST ADMIT I AM NOT A BAKER, JUST A FAB COOK -- MY BEST FRIENDS (WHO ARE IN THE BAKERY BUSINESS) COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS TRIFLE ---- I ALWAYS WANTED THIS BOOK JUST FOR THIS RECIPE!! I MISS YOU ON THE T.V. NIGELLA ------

    Posted by LADYDIANNE on 24th June 2011
  • My goodness, this is so incredibly delicious... rich, zingy, creamy and packs an alcoholic punch all at once. I bought this out after a big pasta dinner and everyone loved it.... except for the young ones (10 and 12) who found the lemon liqueur too strong but were happy to eat the leftover amaretti biscuits straight out the packet :) An expensive dessert but well worth the money and time for a treat! Xx

    Posted by RudieFoodie on 10th June 2011
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