A Mere Trifle: A July Fourth Dessert

A trifle can be as simple as fruit-topped pudding or vanilla yogurt

It's nothing. A mere trifle! Well, if you're making it for dessert, even though it's relatively easy to prepare, this is serious work. But what if you're not in the mood for all of the serious preparation? Then switch over to the easy side of the dessert maker's kitchen.

The essence of a traditional trifle is: custard (or pudding), fruit, cake (sprinkled with rum or whiskey), whipped cream and toasted almonds. You layer everything in a large glass or crystal bowl, finishing it off with whipped cream and toasted almonds. Make this with instant pudding and store-bought cake the night or day before, and your life is easier on the actual holiday. If you’re a purist and have time to spare, try this traditional recipe or this one from Martha Stewart (even though they don’t use custard or almonds).

My No Recipe Recipe
Sliced fresh strawberries, peaches and blueberries
Instant vanilla pudding (prepared and cooled to set)
Pound cake, angel food cake or a jelly roll  (cut into large slices or cubes)
Whipped cream (with sugar and vanilla) or the other stuff you buy in a plastic tub
Toasted almonds

  • Combine fruit with a few tablespoons of sugar and a couple tablespoons of rum (spiced rum is especially good). Toss and set aside for about 10 minutes to give sugar time to dissolve.
  • Begin layering in a large glass or clear plastic bowl.
  • First layer, fruit. Second layer pudding. Third layer cake.
  • Sprinkle cake generously with rum.
  • Duplicate layers. Sprinkle cake with rum and any fruit juices that may be left in the bowl.
  • Top with a thick layer of whipped cream and distribute almonds evenly over that.
  • If you have unused fruit, put into a small bowl and serve on the side.