Cranberry and Elder-Fizz Trifles

My mini Covid Christmas doesn’t mean there is no place for trifle. Two individual beauties that are easy to make – just need to allow time for setting.  Choose two 150ml capacity glass wine glasses, tumblers or cocktail glasses.


Before making fresh cranberry sauce keep back 50g berries and transform them into tasty sweet winter jewels as follows.

Place 100g caster sugar in a bowl and add 3 tbsp boiling water. Stir until you have a clear syrup, you may have to pop the bowl into the microwave for 20 seconds to complete the dissolving of the sugar.  Add then the fresh cranberries, stir through the syrup then place the bowl over a small pan of barely simmering water, pop a lid over and leave on the lowest heat for 45 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave them to cool in the syrup.  This slow cooking softens and sweetens the cranberries without popping or splitting them – leaving them whole and gorgeous.

When ready to start the trifles, preferably the day before serving.  Pop 5 cooked and sweetened cranberries into the base of the wine or cocktail glass.

Mix the jelly by stirring together the elderflower cordial and sparkling water in a jug. Pop the gelatine leaves into a jug of cold water and leave to soften for 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan place 2 tbsp of the elderflower mix and add the gelatine leaves. Place on the lowest heat and as soon as you see the gelatine dissolve (don’t allow it to boil) take off the heat and transfer to the jug of elderflower and water mix.  Stir well.

Spoon enough liquid jelly over the berries in the glass to just cover them. The berries will naturally float in jelly so these first few will set at the base of the glass.

Transfer to the fridge and leave to set for about half an hour.  Leave the unset jelly out at room temperature so that it doesn’t set.

Take from the fridge then spoon over more liquid jelly, leaving a few tbsp. in the jug. Add five or six more cranberries (which will float), pop back into the fridge for another half hour. Once set then pour over the rest of the liquid jelly to cover the berries completely.

Transfer the glasses to the fridge to set – at least two hours.

To make the custard – in a small saucepan place the egg yolk, caster sugar, vanilla and cornflour and mix to a thick paste then add the milk a little at a time to avoid lumps. Place over a low heat and stir all the time until the custard thickens.

Allow to cool to room temperature then pour over the set cranberry jellies.

Pop into the fridge and up to two hours before serving whisk up the double cream which has been mixed with the icing sugar and vanilla and top off the custard.

Decorate each trifle with three cranberries dusted in caster sugar and a sprig of fresh mint.

The sugar crusted cranberries make fantastic cake decorations, top off desserts and can be  added to fruit salads.

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