A trifle is a traditional layered English dessert. For this holiday-worthy version, we created individual trifle portions with layers of ladyfingers, pastry cream and cooked cranberries.

Yield: Serves 8.



  • ​4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 slices fresh ginger, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (2%)
  • 3 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 12 ladyfingers, each cut into 4 pieces
  • Dark chocolate shavings*


  1. Combine cranberries, 1 cup sugar, water and ginger in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat; remove and discard ginger.
  3. Transfer cranberry mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until cold. Meanwhile, to prepare pastry cream, cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape beans from pod; discard pod.
  4. Place beans and egg yolks in a stand mixer fitted with a wire whip. Using medium speed, beat for 1 minute. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating for 2 minutes. Using medium-high speed, beat for 3 minutes. Add flour. Using low speed, beat just until combined. Gradually beat in milk and continue beating for 1 minute.
  5. Pour egg yolk mixture into a medium non-reactive saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally.
  6. Reduce heat and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 4 -5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Force egg yolk mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Add butter, whisking until melted. Cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate until cold.
  8. Combine orange juice and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Working with one piece at a time, dip ladyfinger pieces into orange juice mixture, turning to coat completely; discard any remaining orange juice mixture.
  9. To assemble trifles, place 3 coated ladyfinger pieces into each of 8 parfait glasses or wine goblets. Layer about 2 tbsp cranberry mixture and about 2 tbsp pastry cream in each glass.
  10. Repeat layering with remaining coated ladyfinger pieces, cranberry mixture and pastry cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  11. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

358 calories, 10.2 g fat, 6.4 g protein, 60.8 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fibre, 85 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.