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Classic English Trifle:Poached Pear and Raspberry Trifle with Almond Pound cake.
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4.99 from 53 votes

English Christmas Trifle

Christmas Trifle is a classic English dessert with layers of pound cake, crème anglaise, fresh fruit, and whipped cream. This holiday trifle, adapted from Emeril Lagasse, uses raspberries and poached pears, making it as delicious as it is beautiful.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 18
Author: Cynthia


  • 3 cups creme anglaise (or prepared Bird's custard)
  • 1 prepared pound cake about 12 ounces, crusts trimmed
  • 1/3 cup marsala wine or sherry
  • 1/3 cup amaretto
  • 4 pears poached, and sliced into wedges.
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • fresh raspberries and mint leaves for garnish


  • In a medium bowl, beat 2 cups cream with the confectioner's sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl toss the berries with 2 tablespoons Marsala, stirring to bruise the berries slightly.
  • To assemble the trifle cut the cake into 1/2-inch thick slices to fit tightly into the bottom of a trifle bowl (or a 1 1/2-quart decorative glass bowl).
  • Drizzle or sprinkle the cake layer with Marsala and Amaretto.
  • Layer 1/3 of the pears and raspberries over the top of the cake, followed by 1/3 of the creme anglaise or custard.
  • Repeat the process, creating a total of three layers with the remaining ingredients.
  • Spread whipped cream on top, then pipe rosettes of whipped cream.
  • Garnish with raspberries and slivered almonds.