December 13, 2012

Apricot + Amaretto Trifle

Do you ever think negatively about something, but, you have no idea why? Or think that you don't like something-even if you have never tried it? I'm like this with trifle. I think it's a very personal thing-everybody has a certain recipe or their take on a Christmas trifle that they like to stick to. 

Every Christmas my Dad makes the same trifle-a recipe he got years ago from an old neighbour. In the recipe you'll find boudoir biscuits, apricot jam, sliced tinned apricots, Amaretto, shop bought custard and whipped cream. Normally if I was to make a dessert like this, I would bake a vanilla Madeira sponge and cook a thick custard with fresh egg yolks and cream. You know the saying-'if its not broke don't fix it'?. I'm taking it to heart here, I couldn't imagine eating this trifle any other way!

Over the last few weeks I've been asking friends and family about what they think of when they think of trifle. Here are some of the variations: 

1) Boudoir biscuits, tinned fruit, raspberry jelly, custard and cream.
2) Sponge cake, dates and raisins soaked in sherry, custard, cream.
3) Madeira cake sandwiched with raspberry jam, mixed berry fruit compote, custard cream.

Where do you slot in?

You see the trifle I'm used to eating isn't there and I couldn't imagine eating any of the above. When I told people that the trifle I eat at Christmas contains boudoir biscuits, tinned sliced apricots, shop bought custard, Amaretto and whipped cream, they thought the exact same thing!

For me, this trifle is the epitome of our Christmas. It would be weird over the Christmas season to open our packed fridge and not see it in all its layered glory. 


Holly, x

Roll the boudoir biscuits in apricot jam...

...arrange in a single layer in the bottom of a glass trifle dish.

Thinly slice the tinned apricots, reserving 50ml of syrup and arrange a layer over the biscuits.

Keep layering up the biscuits and sliced apricots until they're all gone-make sure to finish with a layer of apricots.

Stir together 50ml of Amaretto and the reserved syrup-slowly pour over the biscuits and apricots.

Top with custard and finally...

...a voluptuous swirl of  pillow like softly whipped cream. 

Recipe, serves 12

A glass trifle dish

250g Boudoir Biscuits 
1 Jar Apricot Jam
2 x 400g Tinned Apricots, in syrup
50ml Reserved Syrup
750g Custard
50ml Amaretto or Brandy, optional
450ml Cream, whipped

Roll the boudoir biscuits in apricot jam.
Remove the tinned apricots from the syrup, making sure to reserve 50ml.
Thinly slice the apricots.
Place a single layer of boudoir biscuits in the bottom of the glass dish, cover with a layer of sliced apricots.
Continue this process until all the biscuits and apricots are gone-finishing with a layer of apricots.
Stir together the reserved syrup and Amaretto and slowly pour over the biscuits and apricots.
Pour over the custard, allowing it to fall down in and around the biscuits.
Top with whipped cream.


  1. Delicious dessert Holly. Your father's old neighbour certainly passed on a good one.

  2. Thanks!It's become a must at our Christmas table!

  3. Sounds good Holly. I have been making Apricot and Amaretto trifle for years, I have meetings here twice a year, for a collectors society I belong to and after first serving my trifle everyone asked for the recipe. Each time they come, they all say 'please make that trifle'. Often I use a good shop bought vanilla custard instead of making it, but here is my recipe
    VANILLA CUSTARD – I usually make double the quantity.

    ½ pt/290mls milk or single cream
    3 egg yolks
    ½ oz 15g caster sugar
    1 level teaspoon cornflour
    1 tsp vanilla seeds or a few drops of vanilla essence.

    Heat the milk or cream to just below boiling point in a saucepan. While milk or cream is heating, blend the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the hot milk or cream- stirring continually- and return the mixture to the saucepan. Heat very gently – still stirring – until the custard has thickened. Draw off the heat and stir in the vanilla seeds or essence. Pour custard into a cool bowl and stir occasionally, to prevent a skin forming while cooling.


    1 x 14 oz/400g tin apricots in natural juice
    2 oz/55g dried apricots chopped
    1 x 440g madeira cake or almond sponge cake
    3 tbsp amaretto
    1/2 pint vanilla custard
    290ml/1/2 pt double cream whipped
    3oz/80g amaretti biscuits crushed
    2 oz/50g flaked almonds

    Drain tinned apricots from their juice, pour juice into a bowl. Soak the chopped dried apricots in the juice for 20 minutes. Meanwhile chop the tinned apricots.

    Slice the cake thickly and arrange on the bottom of a glass dish. Drizzle over the amaretto. Scatter over the dried and tinned apricots & juice.

    Spoon over the custard and spread the whipped cream on top. Cover and refrigerate. Immediately before serving, scatter over the crushed amaretti biscuits and flaked almonds.