Quick And Easy Mixed Berry Trifle
Updated May 1st 2021
This berry trifle is and easy to make no bake dessert bursting with berries and layered with a light and airy lemon curd cream and sweet tsoureki bread (challah/brioche). Fruit trifle always makes me think of warm weather. Not that eating it should be limited to when it’s warm out, but the majority of trifles I have made and enjoyed have mostly been in the spring or summer at bbqs and picnics. They are great for July and August when fresh berries - local berries are at their peek here and when it’s the warmest time of year making it the perfect delicious, light dessert served cold. Your typical layered trifle consists of some form of cake whether it’s pound cake, angle food cake or even lady gingers that are slightly soaked with a liquid usually made from citrus juice and there’s usually some sort of fresh fruit involved that helps with the soaking as well. A trifle also includes a custard layer made with vanilla pudding or some other flavoured pudding or custard and some whipped cream made from scratch with heavy whipping cream on the top or even cool whip in some recipes. As you can see trifle is a very versatile desserts that is so simple to make.
When it comes to my taste and preference in a trifle, I love a light one with plenty of fruit and a light lemon cream instead of a custard. I find the custard makes the dessert a bit too rich and ‘heavy’ for my taste and adding a custard adds more work so I made this one without. What you won’t find in this one is pudding or custard of any sort keeping this trifle simple, streamlined and oh so delicious.
I made this trifle with leftover Tsoureki/(Greekstyle Sweet Brioche Bread) Sweet Mahlab Bread if I’m making homemade. It’s one of my favorite sweet bread recipes. Our friend dropped off 4 loaves for us to enjoy. It’s just the tastiest. Tsoureki is Greek-style egg and butter enriched sweet bread or brioche that is flavoured with mastic/mastica, mahlab/mahlepi, cardamom and orange zest. Those flavours make this bread so fragrant and are classic to the Greek version of this style bread. We ate the first loaf right away and froze the others to keep them fresh. Leftover tsoureki can be enjoyed many ways. I love it toasted with a nice slathering of Nutella but it also makes for great French toast, baked or done by the slice. I thought I would try something a bit different with it this time around though. I found berries on sale and decided the best way to use them would be in a fruity dessert. Leftover tsoureki, a whole lot of berries - the answer was clearly trifle. This is a very basic easy berry trifle recipe that can be made with pound cake or lady fingers and is most definitely not limited to tsoureki.
The flavourings are simple. I chose orange juice in this version instead of my usual lemon juice because the tsoureki is infused with orange zest but either or works beautifully. Some people even add some liqueur to their tsoureki so if you would like to add a splash of Grand Marnier or a splash of Mastiha liqueur for some extra flavour feel free to add a splash or two. I made mine with lemon curd and whipped cream instead of custard, which as I mentioned earlier keeps this dessert light and delicious and very very simple to make. Feel free to use a store bought lemon curd to make this even quicker or make your own. My favourite recipe for lemon or citrus curd is by Ina Garten. It’s just the best because it can be made with any citrus and it comes together very easily.
This recipe can get thrown together in no time and is beautiful and delicious and perfect for entertaining and for taking to a gathering. It’s always a hit and also a great way to use up leftover tsoureki or sweet bread. Enjoy!
If you liked this berry trifle (no bake dessert), you will love these:
- Ginger Bourbon Peach Icebox Cake
- No bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- Tsoureki (Greekstyle Sweet Brioche Bread) Sweet Mahlab Bread
- Easy Baked Tsoureki (challah/brioche) French Toast
- 4 pints or approx 8 cups of mixed berries
- 1 orange, juiced (lemon alternatively for more tartness)
- ¼ cup honey (maple syrup or sugar alternatively)
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 cups whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd or homemade lemon curd (I use my homemade lemon curd recipe)
- 1 homemade or store-bought tsoureki, sweet bread or brioche, (approx 10-12 ounce loaf) sliced in ½-inch thick cubes (store bought pound cake alternatively)
- Combine the berries, honey, cornstarch and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and release their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and allow to cool; the mixture will thicken up a little as is cools.
- In the meantime whip the cream with the vanilla to soft peaks in a large clean bowl.
- Place the lemon curd into a second large bowl and stir in approximately ½ cup of the whipped cream to lighten it up and then fold in the rest of the cream. It’s ok if some thin streaks of lemon curd remain.
- To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream and garnish with fresh berries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- How to store trifle? The best way to store trifle is in the fridge. Cover the trifle bowl with a layer of plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The trifle will keep well for 2 to 3 days. It won’t be at its best after the first day though - just keep that in mind - you may find some spots where the bread is soaked and soggy.
- How far in advance can I make trifle? Do not assemble your trifle too far in advance as the soft cream will blend into the sponge cake and could make it too soggy. An hour in the fridge is ideal.
Adapted from The Food Network