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Nan’s Trifle

By December 21, 2011May 21st, 2021No Comments

Nan was a dear Scottish friend who came to Canada with her husband many years ago. They landed up in Churchill, where Nan took over the books in my parents’ store. They had no family here and since we had plenty to go around we soon adopted each other. Nan passed away in the late 80s but she handed this recipe down to our family. It has replaced Christmas Pudding as our traditional Christmas dessert. — Helen


  • 3 oz. pkg raspberry or strawberry gelatin
  • 1 Sour Cream Pound Cake (see below) or store-bought jelly roll
  • 3 tbsp. sherry or port
  • 1/2 cup black currant or raspberry jam
  • 2 cups cooked tapioca pudding
  • 8 sugar cookies (purchased or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or grated chocolate
  • 1 recipe Warm Custard (see below)
  • 1 cup whipping cream



1.  Make up a package of gelatin according to the package directions, place in refrigerator to begin setting.
2.  Line the bottom of a glass serving bowl, preferably clear, with ¼” slices of Sour Cream Pound Cake or jelly roll. Pour about 3 tbsp. of sherry or port into a small bowl and brush it over the cake slices with a pastry brush.
3.  Spread jam over cake slices then spread tapioca pudding over jam.
4.  Place a layer of sugar cookies over the tapioca. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips or grated chocolate.
5.  Spread warm custard over the chocolate so that it will melt the chocolate. Allow to cool.
6.  Spoon the partially set gelatin over the custard. Refrigerate until serving time. Allow at least 2 hours for the gelatin to set. Whip the cream and spread it over the gelatin layer.

Serves 12


  • 1 cup butter or margarine (room temp.)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream



1.  In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extract. Total beating should take about 10 minutes.
2.  Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour. Be sure to beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each beating.
3.  Pour the batter into a greased 10” tube or bundt pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour or, until a toothpick comes out clean.
4.  Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool on a rack.


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla



1.  In a medium saucepan, mix together sugar and cornstarch; gradually blend in milk. Place over medium heat; stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
2.  Beat egg yolks slightly; stir a little hot mixture into yolks then return yolk mixture to hot mixture in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat, add vanilla and cool slightly.

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