Boozy Meringue-topped Trifle for Non-Trifle-Lovers!

This month, Germarie asked me to make a trifle that went with her theme of playful things that are a little bit out of the box, a little bit different, something definitely fun. Thank goodness for that, because I’m no trifle fan! There’s something about the texture of the cake crumbs together with the other moist ingredients that just don’t do it for me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s served cold, as I have no problem with sticky toffee pudding and custard for example. But trifle? No. I find it more than just a trifle off-putting. So I embarked on a quest for a non-traditional trifle-type dessert that resulted in this deliciously boozy, meringue-topped trifle version of a recipe I found. Omitting the alcohol and sticking to normal jelly would obviously make this an ideal child-friendly dessert. Whichever way you decide to go, rainbow away and enjoy!

Boozy Meringue-topped Trifle for Non-Trifle-Lovers


Equipment: An electric mixer/food processor, whisk, 1 small and 1 medium saucepan, sugar thermometer, heat-proof bowls, trifle dish


For the boozy peach jelly:
125ml hot water
20ml gelatine granules
375ml peach Schnapps
375ml cold water
Few drops orange gel colour

For each of the other jellies:
Pre-packed jelly mixes in your choice of colours

For the custard:
45ml Custard powder (Moir’s in my case)
45ml sugar
500ml milk

For the meringue:
85ml sugar
63ml water
2 egg whites
30ml caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla essence


Instructions for the boozy jelly:
• Pour the hot water into a large bowl, then add the gelatine granules.
• Stir briskly with a fork until dissolved.
• Add the peach schnapps and cold water, then mix thoroughly.
• Refrigerate uncovered until set.

Instructions for the other jellies (according to packet instructions, which are in my case):
• Dissolve contents of packet in 225ml boiling water – stir well until no more granules are visible.
• Add 225ml of cold water and mix thoroughly.
• Refrigerate uncovered until set.

Instructions for the custard*:
• Measure out 500ml milk in a measuring jug, then pour all but about 50ml into a small saucepan.

• Mix 45ml custard powder and 45ml sugar with the 50ml milk in the jug.
• Bring the remaining 450ml to the boil in a saucepan.
• Once it’s boiled, pour the hot milk into the custard mixture, while stirring well.
• Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a slow boil while stirring continuously, until the desired thickness is reached.
• Remove from heat and allow to cool.*


To assemble:

• Remove all chilled jellies from the fridge, then stir each with a fork to break up the jelly.
• Choose the first two that will go at the bottom of the trifle, then layer them in the trifle dish in the order of your preference. Start from the sides and work inwards, evening out each layer as much as possible before starting on the next.
• After 2 jelly layers, add a layer of custard.
• Top with the remaining 2 jellies.
• Return trifle dish to the fridge.

Instructions for the meringue:
• Place sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
• Bring to a boil while stirring, but stop stirring once the mixture boils. Monitor the temperature, ensuring it reaches 120ºC.
• Whisk egg whites, caster sugar & cream of tartar to soft peaks.
• Very slowly, while beating, pour the hot sugar syrup in a very thin stream over beaten egg whites.
• Continue beating until egg whites are stiff and glossy.
• Remove trifle dish from the fridge, then dollop the Italian meringue over the set trifle and use a blowtorch to brown the edges of the meringue.

Cook’s notes:
* You could, of course, use shop bought custard, but I prefer the taste of homemade. At least the homemade-from-powder variety… if you’re an all-out kitchen goddess, I’m sure your made-from-scratch egg custard will work wonderfully!
* I’ve opted for medium thickness custard so that the custard layer won’t run into the jelly layers below it. But you can tailor your custard to your preference.

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