What I love about trifle is that every trifle is different because depending on the time of year, the fruits and the flavours can vary tremendously. This trifle tastes just like end of spring to me because I used the first berries of the Quebec strawberry crop. This early in the season, they are gorgeously red, firm, and delightfully tangy. The apricots (though imported from Frog Hollow Farm in California) are also best this time of year. In winter, I make a cranberry eggnog trifle that is perfect for the colder months, less appropriate for spring and summer.
The perfect bite of trifle features all its components: boozy cake, fruit, and whipped cream. You need to literally dig deep to get it all in every bite. It's one of the best desserts for the spring-summer season because trifle is a great way of fancying up the fresh fruits of the season, without cooking them down or overpowering them with sugar. After eating a helping of trifle, I think it might actually be my favourite spring-summer dessert. Seriously! In my family, every trifle starts with a warm milk sponge cake, but if you're pressed for time, buy a sponge cake at the grocery store. It'll work just fine and nobody will notice.
Some trifles include pastry cream or thick custard layer (like this vanilla bean pastry cream), but in the hot summer months, you might not feel like going to that trouble and that's okay. So in this recipe, I used a whipped mascarpone filling instead.
Strawberry and apricot trifle
Spiked whipped mascarpone
- 250 grams (1 cup) mascarpone
- 188 mL (¾ cup) whipping cream (35 % fat)
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) sweet liqueur like sherry, amaretto, or Gélinotte
- 1 warm milk sponge cake sliced or broken into pieces for layering, or store-bought sponge cake works too!
- More booze I used Gélinotte again, but sherry is great!
- 6 apricots diced
- 400 grams fresh strawberries hulled and diced or sliced if small
Spiked whipped mascarpone
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the mascarpone, cream, and sugar on low to combine, then increase the speed to whip it into soft or semi-stiff peaks (as you like, basically, just don’t overwhip it).
- You will need 6 wide-rimmed Mason jars or wide-rimmed glasses
- Fit a layer of cake in the bottom of each jar or glass.
- Sprinkle the cake with a teaspoon or so of booze.
- Top with a spoonful or two of fruits.
- Add a scoop of mascarpone cream.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 so that you have two layers of everything. Don’t be shy to press down a little.
- Top the final cream layer with a pretty berry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.