Sherry Trifle Ice Cream

Sherry Trifle Ice Cream Trifle, that favourite of Victorian times, is my father’s favourite dessert (he likes his booze-free), especially at Christmas. It actually existed earlier, and there is a reference to it in 1598 as “a kinde of clouted creame called a foole or a trifle in English.” It was the 18th century before biscuits or macaroons were added, and it took on the form we know today.

There is always a lot of argument about the proper way to do trifle. Is there jelly (gelatin)? Fresh fruit or canned fruit? Sponge or ladyfingers? What’s the booze? Sweet or dry sherry? I’ve allowed latitude in the recipe (feel free to substitute the alcohol). I’m not a fan of jelly in desserts and certainly not in ice cream, so that goes, and please don’t mention custard from a box! I like the kick of brandy, so there is a fair bit of it…

Murphys Sherry Trifle Ice Cream


1 cup Sugar 
5 Egg Yolks 
1 3/8 Cups Cream
1 1/8 Cups Milk
1/4 cup Brandy
1/4 cup Sherry 
1/2 cup Crushed Sponge or Ladyfingers
1/2 cup Mixed Fruit or Fruit Cocktail

What to do:

  1. (Day before) Cut the fruit in small pieces, combine with the brandy, cover, and soak over night. If you use fruit cocktail from a can, drain off all the liquid first. This part is important, or the fruit will become very icy in the ice cream. The absorbed alcohol will minimise the iciness.
  2. Combine the sponge or ladyfingers with the sherry. Stir until it is absorbed.
  3. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow. 
  4. Bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  5. Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.
  6. Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat. 
  7. Stir until the custard thickens (around 60C).
  8. Sherry Trifle Ice Cream CloseupAllow the custard to cool.
  9. Whip the cream until you have soft peaks. Do not over-whip!
  10. Fold in the custard, fruit, and sponge.
  11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer.

12 Servings

Notes: 1. Because of the alcohol in this recipe, it will melt more quickly than normal ice cream.

2. To pasteurise the eggs, heat the custard to 73C and keep at that temperature for three minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, though, and keep stirring! If the custard goes any higher than 76C, the eggs will scramble. Immediately cover and place in the freezer until cool.

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