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Berry Trifle
Although seemingly elaborate, trifle is quick to assemble when you use store-bought pound cake. Mascarpone cheese folded into sweetened whipped cream adds a layer of rich, silky indulgence. You can also use sliced apricots, peaches and plums in place of the berries.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. mixed berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, in any combination, plus more whole berries for garnish
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • One 9-inch lemon pound cake
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lb. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Directions:

If using strawberries, hull and slice them. Place them in a bowl and add the other berries. Add the superfine sugar, orange juice and liqueur and stir gently to mix. Set aside to macerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

Cut the pound cake into 1-inch cubes and set aside until ready to assemble the trifle. You should have about 6 cups.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, using clean beaters and with the mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mascarpone until soft. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped mascarpone and the lemon zest into the whipped cream until evenly blended.

Select a footed glass trifle bowl 9 to 10 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep. Alternatively, use a large flat-bottomed glass bowl. Arrange a single layer of the cake cubes in the bottom of the bowl. Spoon one-third of the macerated berries over the cake and then spread one-third of the mascarpone mixture over the berries. Repeat the layers twice, finishing with a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to marry.

Just before serving, garnish the trifle with whole berries and mint. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, Edited by Chuck Williams (Oxmoor House, 2004).