Apple and Calvados trifle


  • Serves 8 people

  • Trifle
  • 3 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (see note)
  • 3 large Cox’s apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (see note)
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp Calvados
  • Sponge
  • 4 large (70gm each) eggs
  • 125 gm caster sugar
  • 125 gm plain flour, sifted
  • Custard
  • 450 ml pouring cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large (70gm each) eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks (from 70gm eggs)
  • 85 gm caster sugar
  • Almonds
  • 100 gm flaked almonds
  • 30 gm icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Calvados
  • Cream
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 30 gm icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
01   Preheat oven to 160C. To prepare the sponge, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until tripled in volume. Slowly fold in the sifted flour, then pour into a Swiss roll tin lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
02   Place the apples in a saucepan with the sugar and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until apples are tender, then set aside to cool.
03   To make the custard, pour the cream and vanilla extract into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, mix the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl. Once the cream reaches boiling point, pour it over the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs scrambling. Strain through a fine sieve into a large heatproof bowl, then place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until the custard has thickened. Pour through a fine sieve into a plastic container, cool and chill.
04   Preheat oven to 180C. Mix the almonds, icing sugar and Calvados together in a bowl, then spread them out on a baking tray. Toast in oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
05   For the cream, whisk the pouring cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form, then refrigerate until needed.
06   To assemble the trifle, you will need a large glass bowl. Cut the sponge into slices 2cm thick (nothing worse than not enough booze-soaked sponge) and place in the bottom of your bowl. Then pour on at least 6 tbsp of Calvados and leave for 30 minutes to soak. Cover with the apple mixture, then the custard, then the cream. Each layer should be roughly the same thickness. Top with the almonds.

Note Bramley apples are a sour green apple available in the UK. Substitute with Granny Smith apples. Cox's apples are available from select greengrocers. If unavailable, substitute with Pink Lady apples.

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