Summer Berry Lemon Trifle
Summer Berry Lemon Trifle

This gorgeous concoction comes directly to you courtesy of my middle guy who has been begging me to make this again since I first did a couple of years ago! Rotten mother, right?! Especially because despite the many layers you see here, none of them are hard to do-- they just take a bit of advance planning. So when he came home from school this summer, I resolved that come hell or high water, the boy would get his trifle. After all, this is no trifling matter, c'mon, you knew I had to go there!!!

I have to say I really can't blame my boy for pining away after this because it's truly spectacular! The whipped cream later is infused with a homemade lemon curd which perfectly harmonizes with one of my favorite lemon pound cake recipes and a delightful mixed berry compote. Each bite is a little bit of lemon berry heaven!!

The only downside of this trifle is that it's not exactly gorgeous after you serve it as things tend to get a bit sloppy and gushy but are we going to be judgmental and turn up our noses because of a little messiness? No siree--not when it tastes like this we're not!

Once you've prepared all the components, some of which you can do several days ahead, the actual dessert takes only minutes to assemble. You start by placing a layer of the lemon curd whipped cream in the bottom of the bowl. Next you add a layer of cake, then a layer of berries and then more whipped cream and so on and so on until you've built a towering masterpiece!!

This yields a large amount which makes it great for crowds and parties or for a boy who's been waiting years for his favorite treat!! Don't put if off like me--try this now while the berries are still in season!!

And FYI--I'll be doing a bit of traveling this week and might not have access to Wi-Fi, so not sure if I'll be able to post much the rest of the week, but if you make the curd today, the cake tomorrow and the berries the next day, you'll have yourself one heck of a dessert for the weekend!! And I'll be back next week with more terrific summer recipes as we fly through August!!

Summer Berry Lemon Trifle

Serves 10-12

Prep Time: For the berry compote: 10 minutes (plus chilling time); For the pound cake: 20 minutes, plus 50-60 minutes bake time; For the lemon curd: 20 minutes, plus several hours chilling time; For the Lemon Cream: 10 minutes; Assembly Time: 15 minutes, plus 5-8 hours of chilling time so all the flavors have a chance to meld together.


For the Berry Compote

  • 4 cups mixed berries (I used blueberries and sliced strawberries but use any kind of fresh berries you like)

  • The juice of one lemon

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Lemon Curd

  • Use this one or any kind you like (you can even buy it if necessary but it's so easy to make your own)

For the Lemon Cream

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 recipe lemon curd or an 11 ounce jar

For the Lemon Pound Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, well shaken

  • Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 5 large eggs

The Recipe

1.  To make the berry compote:  Place the berries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and mix together. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries start to break down, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a container, cover and chill. You can make this up to one day in advance.

2.  Either make the lemon curd by scratch from the recipe above or any recipe you like and you can do this several days in advance and keep it chilled until ready to use.

3.  Right before you're ready to assemble the trifle, make the lemon cream:  In a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. In another large bowl, place the lemon curd. Whisk about 1/4 cup of the whipped cream into the curd to lighten it a bit and then gently fold in the rest of the cream. Set aside to use immediately or cover and refrigerate if not using right away but you should not make this too long before you intend to use it.

4.  To make the cake:  Preheat oven to 350ºF and butter and flour (or use nonstick baking spray with flour in it) a 12-cup Bundt pan or two loaf pans. Set aside.

5.  Pour the buttermilk into the measuring cup and add the lemon zest and juice and mix together. Into a medium bowl, place the flour, salt, baking powder and soda and whisk together.

6.  Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.

7.  Turn the mixer to low and alternate the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture in three parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat only until just mixed. Scrape down the sides as necessary and make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as the flour has a tendency to stick a bit to the bottom.

8.  When everything is incorporated, pour the batter in the pan(s), smooth the tops and bake for about 50-60 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake looks golden brown. Whenever I make this cake it has a tendency to get too brown on the top, so check it early and often, and if need be, tent with foil to prevent overbrowning. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan on the rack for at least 15 minutes. Then turn out onto the rack and let cool completely. Cake can be made 3-4 days in advance and kept well wrapped at room temperature in a cool spot.

9.  To assemble the trifle:  Place a layer of the lemon curd infused whipped cream into a large glass or trifle bowl. Slice the pound cake into 1/2-inch thick slices and top the whipped cream with a layer of cake, breaking up pieces to fill all the nooks and crannies as necessary. Then spoon on some of the berry mixture all over the cake. Top that with another layer of the lemon cream and keep layering on the cake and berries and cream until you've used up all of the ingredients (you may have some cake leftover--whatever will you do with it?!) and finish with the cream on top.

10.  Cover and chill for 5-8 hours until the flavors really have a chance to blend a bit. Serve in bowls.


Note:  Based on this trifle recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Lemon Pound Cake is from Martha Stewart. Lemon Curd recipe was posted earlier this year on my site and is originally from Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman.

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