Christmas Trifle Recipe
Coming from Italian heritage, it comes as no surprise that often my strongest memories of days gone by have some kind of food involved! So each time big annual events come around, especially Christmas, I am filled with nostalgia for all things that were a delight to my olfactory sense. My Nonna, Mamma, and Zia’s were all incredible cooks and each had their signature dishes that were always in abundance when the whole family came together. Combining so many different regions of Italy, it was a delectable culinary explosion!
As first generation migrants to this beautiful place we get to call home, it didn’t take much for many of our ‘traditional’ festivity dishes to also include Aussie influences. My family are as much in food-love with rice pudding, scotch finger biscuits, and trifle as they are with lasagne, polpetti, and cotolette! Christmas time is the foodie pièce de résistance (to borrow a phrase from one of our european cousins) as our buffet table heaved with all the very best of what my family had to offer. From antipasto platters to seven different pasta dishes, and of course the dessert table. It was never complete without the annual selection of gifted panettone, my Nonna’s rice pudding, and my Zia Cathy’s trifle.
One of my first memories is standing beside her in the kitchen carefully mixing the bowls of green and red jelly, and impatiently waiting for them to set, while we prepared all the other ingredients of home made sponge cake and custard, syrup peaches, and thickened cream with a little dash of Grand Marnier. A few years ago, my Zia made the ‘adventurous’ decision to re-allocate dessert duties and I was left in charge. My darling Canadian-Aussie hubbie, in his attempt for the least fussy option on what to bring, ill-advised a tray of Woolies cupcakes. Well, never-have-I-ever heard such collective Italian outrage burst from my family, with my youngest sister declaring that ‘Christmas would be ruined’! Did I mention we’re also prone to Italian dramatics as well? I know, shocking.
To avoid complete ostracism, I knew that the only thing to save that Christmas was a trifle, but not just any trifle, it had to blow their minds. So, the video in this post is our new ‘tradition’ trifle borne from that fateful ‘grinch’ Christmas declaration and desperation of not letting the side down and one, thankfully, we’ve now become famous for.
It is now berry themed, with layers of raspberry and strawberry jelly, the sponge cake is replaced with pavlova and crushed meringue pieces, and strawberries and raspberries are there in place of the peaches. I also layer in shavings and chunks of white chocolate, with Chambord-laced vanilla custard. Basta! Well and truly redeemed, now my youngest sister refuses to come to Christmas, unless I’m making trifle. Go figure. I would still, hands-down, have my Zia’s trifle any day purely for the nostalgia of it all, but I will love handing down this recipe to my little niece and hopefully sharing fun memories with her too.
Buon Natale a tutti! Hope your foodie traditions are as nuts as ours…they make for the best memories…!
Trifle Recipe Order
Layer 1: Strawberry Jelly
Layer 2: Vanilla Custard
Layer 3: Soft Meringue
Layer 4: Frozen Raspberries
Layer 5: Coconut & White Chocolate
Layer 6: Crunchy Meringue
Layer 7: Vanilla & Butterscotch Custard
Layer 8: Raspberry Jelly
Layer 9: Soft Meringue
Layer 10: Frozen Raspberries
Layer 11: Coconut & White Chocolate
Layer 12: Vanilla & Butterscotch Custard
Layer 13: Top with passion fruit
Layer 14: White Chocolate Shavings
Topping: Decorate with raspberries and top with crunchy meringue