Recipe: Lemon-Berry Trifle

While it looks impressive, a trifle doesn’t have to be an all-day project. Most traditional English trifles layer sponge cake soaked in spirits, custard, whipped cream and seasonal fruit. This all-ages version, from Sheila Carver of Raleigh, leaves out the spirits and includes a combination of store-bought and from-scratch ingredients.

“I used a store-prepared lemon pound cake from Fresh Market. You can use any available fresh fruit! My family loves fruit so this is a great year-round recipe,” said Carver, whose dessert recipe first appeared in Main & Broad magazine.

Lemon-Berry Trifle

2 1/2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) lemon-flavored instant pudding
2 cups thawed whipped topping, divided
1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 lemon pound cake, sliced and cubed
Microwave Lemon Curd, recipe below


  1. Slice and cube pound cake and set aside. Slice strawberries, set aside.
  2. Combine the pudding mix and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix until blended, scraping the sides of the bowl several times until thoroughly mixed. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of whipped topping, reserving 1/2 cup.
  3. To assemble the trifle, place cubed pound cake on the bottom of a trifle dish or bowl, add a layer of the pudding mixture, then a layer of berries. If desired, place strawberries with the cut side facing the sides of the bowl for a beautiful presentation. Repeat the layers one more time and top with remaining whipped topping.
  4. Drizzle with Microwave Lemon Curd. Store in the refrigerator.

Microwave Lemon Curd

1 cup sugar
Zest from 2 lemons, finely grated
½ cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks, reserve the whites for another use or discard
3 large eggs
½ cup salted butter, cut into cubes


  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and, if using unsalted butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, until smooth. Add butter cubes. Microwave on high power for 45 seconds. Remove and stir vigorously with a whisk.
  2. Continue to cook 45-second intervals, stirring after each interval. It will take four to seven minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Lemon curd is done cooking when it coats the back of a metal spoon and reaches 175 degrees F on an instant thermometer.
  3. Remove from the microwave, and whisk well. Add lemon zest and stir. Allow the curd to cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

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