Middle Eastern Inspired Trifle

11:30 am on 15 November 2010

You will need a serving dish approximately 18cm in diameter.

(Serves 8 - 10)


Pomegranate Jelly

  • 550 ml water
  • 100ml Pomegranate molasses
  • 160ml water
  • 150ml sugar
  • 8 leaves gelatine (2g ea), soaked in cold water

Spiced Custard

  • 650ml cream
  • 5 Cardamom pods, smashed
  • ½ Vanilla pod, split
  • 3 peppercorns, black, whole
  • 1 Cinnamon stick, split
  • Peeled zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg whole
  • 100g lightly flavoured honey
  • 60g sugar

To build the Trifle

  • 80g crisp meringue
  • 100g sponge fingers
  • 11/2 punnets strawberries, cleaned and halved or quartered
  • 300ml cream, softly whipped


In a saucepan, lightly ‘toast’ the spices over a medium flame. Once aromatic, add the cream and lemon zest, bring to the boil, remove from heat, cover and infuse for at least 1 hour.

Bring the three liquids and the sugar for the jelly to the boil, remove from heat and add thoroughly squeezed out gelatine leaves, whisk to combine and cool.

Prepare an iced water bath in which the finished bowl of custard will cool.

Return the milk to the stove on a medium heat to bring gently to the boil. In a bowl, whisk the egg, yolks, sugar and honey well, once the milk is nearly boiling, pour a third of it onto the egg and sugar mixture and whisk quickly, pour this back into the saucepan of milk and return to the stove on a low heat, stirring constantly.

Cook very slowly until the custard is quite thick and is coating the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to overcook, the custard will thicken slightly on cooling.

When custard is ready, strain into a bowl sitting in the iced water bath, stir constantly for the next minute or so and then from time to time until cool.

Once the jelly and custard are cool (or room temperature) you can build the trifle.

To Assemble

Line the dish with sponge fingers; pour two thirds of the almost setting jelly over. Chill for 15 minutes. Pour or spoon the custard over and top with strawberries, chill for 10 minutes.  Pour over the remaining jelly. Chill 30 minutes.

Add coarsely crumbled meringue.

To Serve

Top with whipped cream and more strawberries or fresh pomegranate seeds if desired.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Old Mount Feijoa & Apple