Peach Melba Trifle

I saw this recipe in a cooking magazine years ago and I’ve loved the combination of flavours ever since. There are a few variations to try – they are all delicious.

peach melba trifle


1 angel food cake OR 1 pound cake OR 1 package of Amaretti cookies

1/4 cup Grand Marnier OR 1/4 cup strong Earl Grey tea sweetened with 1 tsp honey


1 package vanilla pudding (the cooked kind has a nicer flavour than instant) OR…

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Using a whisk, combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat on stovetop. Allow milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around edges of pan). Whisk occasionally to prevent cornstarch from clumping on bottom edges of pan.
  2. Remove milk mixture from heat.
  3. Mix about 2 tablespoons of scalded milk mixture into eggs using whisk, then introduce eggs into milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking milk mixture constantly.
  4. Immediately return pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another two or three minutes. Do not allow to boil. (If you find that you have egg white strands in custard, feel free to pass it through a fine-mesh sieve into a different bowl now.)
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.


4-6 fresh peaches

2 pints raspberries (frozen can be used but fresh are nicer)

1 oz Grand Marnier OR juice of 1 lemon

FOR GARNISH: (not necessary, but what the heck, right?)

1 cup whipping cream

Prepare the custard and pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Wash the fruit. Cut the peaches into slices and add the Grand Marnier. Set aside. Keep raspberries separate so they don’t break up.

Whip the cream, sweetening to your taste (I like it just barely sweet, as the custard and cake will offer plenty of sweetness in the dessert.)

To assemble the trifle, use either a large high-sided bowl (glass is lovely as you get to see the layers) OR individual cups (mason jars work well – I find the low 250 mL size is a nice portion. You will make 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of fruit and custard with whipped cream on top.

First, put in a layer of cake or cookie pieces to cover the bottom. Drizzle the Grand Marnier over top. Cover the cake with fruit (layer in peaches, then sprinkle raspberries over), then custard, and repeat the cake layer with more Grand Marnier. Repeat this whole procedure one more time.

Garnish trifle with rosettes of whipped cream (or just a smooth layer if you don’t have a piping bag). Add a few pieces of remaining fruit and/or a sprig of mint. Store in the fridge until serving.


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