Peach Melba Sherry Trifle; a delicious summery trifle that’s made with fresh raspberries, fresh peaches, Cream Sherry soaked cake, creamy custard & whipped cream, decorated with more fruit and amaretti biscuits.
Memories of an
Old-Fashioned British Dessert
The clock ticked seductively in the background, barely heard above the animated conversation as the elderly sisters relived their childhood from many years ago; there were tales of the small holding they grew up on, with memories of giant cabbages, fragrant sweet peas, chickens, rabbits and angry geese…..there were good times and bad times when supper was just bread and dripping and when they walked barefoot to school, but they never seemed to be bitter about the lot that had been dealt to them.
They then turned their attention to today, and Sunday Tea and what they would serve to us……there were suggestions of tinned salmon, lettuce, cheese & tomato sandwiches, as well as cucumber sandwiches, a jam & cream sponge cake, celery and pickled onions, but nobody had mentioned a trifle, and yet, the old crystal trifle bowl was not in the glass cabinet, so there was still hope that this decadent treat might also be on the menu.
This was over forty years ago, and I was visiting my paternal grandmother Nellie and her sister Gertie, who lived together on the outskirts of Norwich; my dad, whose mother it was, and the rest of the family tried to visit at least four times a year, a difficult feat as we lived in Cornwall at the time, having just come back from overseas, where we’d been in Hong Kong for several years. The sisters were wonderful hostesses, and after Sunday Tea, they both imbibed in a few glasses of sherry or a Snowball or two!
Sunday Tea was something to be celebrated, as well as the slices of bread and butter, there was cake, scones and biscuits, and nobody left the table empty. On this particular day in question, based on my memories, there was indeed a trifle, a giant bowl of sherry soaked cake with tinned mixed fruit, jelly and oodles of creamy custard topped with clouds of whipped cream and hundreds and thousands….it was the showstopper of the tea time table and was met with shouts of glee and happiness.
We may sniff at the simplicity of a retro trifle today, with hundreds and thousands as well as tinned fruit being spurned in the modern-day version of this recipe, but it was a delectable dessert with multiple treats combined together which formed all of your pudding dreams in one bowl! Sherry was usually a drink drunk at Christmas, High Days and Holidays then, or when the vicar came around, and was used sparingly in trifles and tipsy cakes, but today we can revel in the fact that we have so many more varieties of Sherry Wine to choose from, and although its utterly fab in a trifle, it’s great when paired with so many other things too.
Today’s recipe for Peach Melba Sherry Trifle is my take on one if my favourite flavour combinations, raspberries and peaches; combined in a trifle with some fine Cream Sherry, it is retro enough to remind me of my childhood, but is also elegant enough to suit today’s modern tastes. This delicious summery trifle is made with fresh raspberries AND fresh peaches, with Cream Sherry soaked cake, creamy custard & whipped cream, which is decorated with more fruit and amaretti biscuits.
As well as being the ideal candidate for a trifle, Cream Sherry makes a wonderful aperitif when served chilled, and is full-bodied and velvety in the mouth. I’m a HUGE fan of sherry and was lucky enough to visit Jerez, the home of sherry, last year; it is served regularly at Chez Lavender and Loavge, and my favourites are Cream, Pale Cream, Pedro Ximénez, Fino and Oloroso.……..I love sherry both as an aperitif and a digestif, as well as in cooking and baking. Pedro Ximénez is a real favourite as an accompaniment to fresh fruit and especially Charentais melon…….
…..and it’s sweet, musky almost maple syrup flavour is fabulous as a soaking agent for raisins that are destined for a cake too! I also love this deep, sweet sherry with blue cheese and Camembert. Oloroso, with its drier more oaky notes, makes a great aperitif with cheese, nuts, crisps and savoury pastries – I’m also a fan of Fino when swerved this way, but it must be super-charged chilled. Oloroso sherry is fabulous when added to mushroom soup, adding an extra flavour dimension which enhances the earthiness of the mushrooms…..plus, I’ve also used it in Gazpacho.
Whatever your sherry preference, there’s plenty to choose from, and you can explore the different types of sherry and their associated tasting notes here: JEREZ-XÉRÈS-SHERRY. I have shared some recipes and sherry tasting ideas and more trifle recipes below, so you can take your pick, as well as choosing a sherry that suits you! That’s all for today, have a FABULOUS Sunday and I hope you feel inspired enough to make a fabulous Sherry Trifle for your Sunday Tea Table, and maybe my recipe for Peach Melba Sherry Trifle will fit the bill. Karen
Disclaimer: Paid collaborative work with Sherry Wine
More TRIFLE recipes:
Recipes with Sherry and to serve with Sherry:
Peach Melba Sherry Trifle