Please note: this recipe contains no jelly, no port, no sherry, no tinned fruit and no bought cake.
Dogpossum has asked on a comments thread about trifle, so I thought I'd make a proper post out of it. This is what I plan to make tomorrow, up to the custard level, so that all the flavours can bed down together nicely by Monday.
Find a pretty, medium-to-big bowl, preferably see-through. (This trifle looks, if anything, even better than the one in that photo a few posts back, so it's nice to be able to see the layers.)
Ground floor: Savoyardis or other similar sponge-finger biscuits. Fill up the spaces with crumbled-up macaroons, Amaretti biscuits or similiar. Slosh some Kirsch on them (quarter of a cup for a small trifle, half a cup for a big one) to begin the softening-up process.
First floor: a generous layer of warmed jam, preferably strawberry.
Second floor: a very generous layer of fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries, plus some fresh cherries that you've softened by gently simmering in a bit of water with a couple of teaspoons of honey and a pinch of cinnamon. When they're soft enough to pit easily, drain them over a little bowl or mug, keep the liquid, and let everything cool.
You should then be able to pit the cherries by cutting them in half. Mix them up gently with the rasps and strawbs. Use some of the saved cooking liquid to soften up the biscuit layer a bit more (but don't drown it or anything).
Third floor: a finely judged layer of custard: it should cover or at least coat all the fruit and give you a more or less level playing field to decorate. Either use the homemade custard recipe of your choice (if you're going to take the trouble, you might as well do it using eggs and cream rather than custard powder) or a bought one if you want -- Paul's do very nice custard, actually, including a brandy-flavoured one. Also, this year I plan to introduce to the custard layer a few artfully deployed spoonfuls of King Island Creme Dessert (Toffee Caramel flavour).
Fourth floor: whipped cream decoration, using an icing bag and star nozzle or whatever, and making a pattern with cream swirls and toasted almonds and silver cachous and red and green glace cherries. Or whatever.
Here are the flavours in this dessert:
brandy (if you take the Paul's cucky option)
Here are the kilojoules in this dessert:
Dogpossum asked about a low-sugar option for a diabetic version but I'm fairly sure such a thing does not exist in nature. I think what I'd do is pick out the biggest, yummiest, best and most beautiful of the fresh berries and cherries, and save them for the diabetic person to eat out of a crystal plate with a silver spoon.