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Create an Elegant Dessert

The word “trifle” comes from the old French term “trufle” and literally means something whimsical. A proper English trifle is made with real egg custard poured over sponge cake soaked in fruit and sherry and topped with whipped cream. Many puddings evolved as a way of using up leftovers, and trifle originated as a way to use stale cake.


Peach Parfaits

Makes 6 individual servings

4-5 peaches, peeled and sliced, or 20 oz. frozen or canned peaches

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup boiling water

2 egg yolks

2 Tbsp butter

1 (10.75 oz) prepared loaf pound cake or angel food cake, cubed

Crumb topping (recipe follows)

Garnish: 1 cup sweetened whipped cream


1. Place peach slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with brown sugar. Stir to coat and set aside.

2. In a medium-sized metal bowl, stir together the white sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice until the mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk in the boiling water.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk the yolks together. Gradually whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot lemon mixture. Then whisk the yolk mixture back into the larger bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Set aside.

4. In each parfait glass, make a layer of cake cubes, about 1/2 cup. Top with about 2 tablespoons of lemon sauce, then 1/4 cup of peach slices and a tablespoon of crumb topping. Repeat the layers. Top with 1 tablespoon each of the lemon sauce and the crumb topping. Refrigerate for at least an hour to chill thoroughly. Top each parfait with a dollop of whipped cream before serving.

Adapted from

Fancy Berry Trifle

Makes 4 servings

1 pint blueberries

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 pint raspberries

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch


Lemon Pudding:

1 quart whipping cream

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd

1 store-bought pound cake, sliced 1/2-inch thick


1. Place the berries into a large bowl and sprinkle with half of the lemon juice. Lightly toss.

2. Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and let cool; the mixture should thicken up as is cools. 

3. In a clean bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and the vanilla to soft peaks. Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and stir in a little of the whipped cream to loosen it. Fold in the rest of the cream. 

4. To assemble, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake, breaking the slices into pieces to fit. Soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Continue, making 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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