Toffee apple and brandy trifle

Photograph: Emma Jervis

Photograph: Emma Jervis

Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 06:00

  • Serves: 6
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: British


  • 250g sugar
  • 8 medium eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 75g butter
  • 750g eating apples, cored and sliced
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 300ml full cream milk
  • 150ml cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 level dessert spoon cornflour
  • 150ml Longueville apple brandy
  • 250ml cream lightly whipped


1. Two days before you need the trifle, make the sponge. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar with the eggs until it has at least doubled in size and is thick, pale and firm. This can take up to 15 minutes depending on your mixer. Sieve the flour into a bowl and fold the egg mixture in gently, taking care not to lose the lightness of the mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Remove to a wire rack and let it sit overnight to firm and become slightly stale.

2. The next day, make the toffee apples. Melt the butter in a pan and add the prepared apples and cook until they are starting to soften. Add the sugar and continue to cook on a low heat until the mixture starts to caramelise and the air smells of toffee. Allow to cool.

3. Make the custard by bringing the cream and milk to the boil. In the meantime, in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale. Now pour the boiling milk into the bowl and mix well. Pour back into the saucepan and return to a medium heat. Continue to whisk until it comes up to a slow simmer and is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat to cool.

4. Finally assemble the trifle by lining the bottom of a large glass bowl with the sponge and sprinkle with half the brandy. Next add half of the apples followed by another layer of sponge and sprinkle with the rest of the brandy. Now add the rest of the apples and pour over the custard. Allow to stand for at least two hours or overnight if possible.

5. Spoon the whipped cream on top just before serving.