Neven Maguire’s trifle recipe will make you feel very nostalgic this Christmas

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Much loved Irish chef Neven Maguire has launched a brand new cookbook, just in time for Christmas.

The book, titled Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas contains all you need to make your families favourites this festive season, and we have a sneak peek at one of his most nostalgic recipes.

Make sure to pick up a copy Neven’s best sellers at all good bookstores and right here on Amazon.

Vera’s Sherry Trifle

This is one dessert that I can clearly remember from my childhood – it probably even enticed me to be a chef. My mum always made this for special occasions and I just loved helping, especially with the cleaning of the bowls… Now I like to decorate the top with pomegranate seed to make it sparkle like jewels.

Serves 6


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200g (7oz) Madeira cake, broken
into pieces
300ml (½ pint) cream
toasted flaked almonds, to
pomegranate seeds, to decorate
spun sugar, to decorate (optional)
For the custard:
300ml (½ pint) milk
100ml (3½fl oz) cream
½ vanilla pod, split in half
lengthways and seeds scraped out
5 egg yolks
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
For the fruit:
100ml (3½fl oz) sweet sherry
100g (4oz) caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split in half
lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 x 500g (18oz) bag of frozen fruits
of the forest

  • To make the custard, put the milk, cream and vanilla pod
    and seeds in a heavy-based pan set over a gentle heat and
    cook until it nearly reaches the boil – but don’t allow to boil.
    Meanwhile, put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large
    bowl and whisk together until pale and thickened.
  • Remove the hot milk and cream mixture from the heat and
    slowly whisk it into the egg mixture through a fine sieve until
    smooth. Discard the vanilla pod and pour back into the pan,
    then set over a gentle heat. Cook, without allowing it to boil,
    until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon, stirring
    continuously. Remove from the heat and leave to cool,
    covered with a piece of cling film pressed directly on the
    surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming on top.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the fruit. Put the sherry in a large pan
    with the sugar and vanilla seeds and bring to the boil.
    Reduce the heat and simmer for 4–5 minutes, until syrupy,
    stirring occasionally. Stir in the frozen fruits of the forest and
    set aside until cooled, stirring occasionally. The fruits should
    defrost naturally in the hot syrup but still hold their shape.
  •  Scatter the Madeira cake over the base of a 1.5 litre (2½ pint)
    glass serving bowl. Spoon over the fruit and cover with the
    cooled custard. Chill for 1 hour, until the custard sets a little
    firmer, or up to 24 hours is fine.
  •  When ready to serve, whip the cream in a bowl until you
    have achieved soft peaks. Put spoonfuls on top of the
    custard, then gently spread with a palette knife or the back
    of a spoon to cover the custard completely (or you can use
    a piping bag). Sprinkle over the toasted flaked almonds and
    pomagranate seeds and decorate with some spun sugar if
    liked, then place straight on the table to serve.


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