This is a simple jelly trifle like my Mother used to make. It contains no alcohol, and uses the quick-setting type of jelly made for fruit flans, so is suitable for vegetarians.


*Ordinary jelly cubes contain gelatine, which comes from animals. Apart from Quick-jel, you could use one of the vegetarian jellies stocked by Health Food shops. Follow the maker's instructions.


Chop up the cake and place in the bottom of a medium sized serving bowl.

If using tinned fruit, drain off the juice through a sieve into a container. Mix most the fruit with the cake, but set some aside for decorating the top of your trifle.

Put the quick-jel into a saucepan. Add 100 ml (3½ fluid ounces) water and 100ml (3½ fluid ounces) fruit syrup (you can drink the rest of the syrup yourself!)

If you haven't any tinned fruit use the same quantity of fruit juice instead, mixed with water. The total liquid should be 200 ml (7 fluid ounces, or 1/3 pint).

Bring the jelly to the boil, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, but don't wait for the jelly to thicken, instead pour it straight away over the cake, so that it soaks right in. Leave it to set and go completely cold.

Now make up the custard. In a bowl or large jug put 2 round tablespoonfuls of custard powder and about 1½ tablespoonfuls sugar. From ¾ pint milk take just enough milk to mix the custard powder to a smooth paste, and put the rest in a saucepan to boil. When the milk starts to boil add it to the paste and stir. Return the mix to the saucepan, and bring it back to the boil, stirring all the time.
Pour the custard carefully over the cake/jelly mix and leave to go completely cold.

Whisk the cream until it is thick, but not buttery. Spread it on the top of the trifle, and decorate with  remaining pieces of fruit.