Cherry trifle with saffron custard Cherry trifle with saffron custard

This recipe includes a beautiful medley of creamy custard, sponge cake and fruit, featuring new season cherries and saffron-infused custard.


Serves 10–12


45 minutes



  • 500g pitted cherries, plus extra whole cherries to decorate
  • 270g sugar
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1½ tbs (30ml) rose water
  • 40g corn flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 675g plain sponge or madeira cake, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • 100ml pomegranate juice
  • Pistachios, to decorate


To make the cherry jam, add 300g pitted cherries, 170g sugar and the lemon juice into a small saucepan. Lightly crush the cherries with a potato masher or a fork and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until the mixture thickens and reaches 105°C, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly and set.
For the custard, crush the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle. Add the rose water, corn flour and 2 tbs water. Mix to combine. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining 100g sugar and eggs. Whisk until smooth. Bring the milk and 300ml of cream to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then pour into the egg mixture while whisking. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add the saffron and rose water mixture. Cook the custard over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour into a jug and cover the surface with cling film. Set aside to cool.
To assemble, halve the remaining pitted cherries. Spread a third of the cake with the jam and arrange in the bottom of your trifle dish. Drizzle with a third of the juice, then layer with half the custard. Scatter over half of the halved cherries. Repeat with the remaining jam, cake, juice, custard and halved cherries, finishing with a layer of cake.
Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks and dollop on top of the trifle. Top with the pistachios, lemon zest and extra cherries.

Originally published in The Costco Connection, Nov/Dec 2021. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.