Recently I made trifle for the first time in a long while. And I had forgotten the very best thing about trifle - it is, very often, simply the best store cupboard desert ever. That is to say, I'm pretty sure that a lot of people with decently well-stocked pantries could make this without ever having to venture to the store. It can be prepared pretty fast, too, and then just left to sit and soak for a couple of hours in the fridge before serving.
One plain cake - an angel food cake or a plain pound cake is best (the older the better)
Jam (any flavor you like)
Marsala wine, or sherry
Fruit - about 3 or 4 cups' worth (again, any you like - and it can be canned, frozen or fresh)
Devon custard - one can
Whipping cream, one box of instant vanilla pudding and milk
First cut the cake into thin slices and spread half of them with your jam of choice, then make wee cake/jam sandwiches using the other slices, too. Leave the jammy sandwiches to soak in a (half-and-half) mixture of sherry or marsala and fruit juice (I've used orange, cranberry and apple at various different points). Put aside.
Whip up some special instant pudding cream - use half and half cream and milk to mix with one packet of instant vanilla pudding. Follow the instructions on the packet Leave on one side.
Now, it's time for the layering.
To get the full trifle effect (it is quite a beautiful dessert) you should layer up in something large, deep and see-through: usually a large, glass bowl will work.
First, put one layer of soaked cake, then half the fruit, then about half of the custard. Then the same again - the rest of the cake, then the fruit, then the custard.
Lastly cover with the creamy pudding and stick in the fridge.
Makes enough for 6 large portions, or 8 normal ones :)
My own trifle was made, this time, with an angel food cake, cherry jam, marsala wine, peaches and blueberries. I iced my trifle, hence the bright green alien gooooo in the cross section picture.
Trifle = messy, but tasty.