Mango, pomegranate, berry and coconut trifle

Mango, pomegranate, berry and coconut trifle

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

This is really luscious, billowy yet textured. The custard only takes about 15 minutes to make, but you can buy a 400 ml tub of good-quality custard instead (it will have a vanilla flavour, but will be fine). Packets of grated coconut, from the freezer section at Indian and oriental shops, are the best storecupboard cheat and I highly recommend them. You can use desiccated instead, but it will not have the same texture or taste. If you like pomegranate juice, I would add some in as below; it adds a lovely flavour and also soaks slightly into the sponge but, if you don’t have any, it still works really well.

For the coconut custard


Quantity Ingredient
200ml whole milk
200ml double cream
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar, plus 2 teaspoons, plus more for the strawberries
1 1/3 level teaspoon cornflour
65g fresh coconut, grated

For the rest

Quantity Ingredient
175g strawberries, washed, hulled and roughly chopped
2 pomegranates, seeded
75ml pomegranate juice, (optional, see recipe introduction)
lemon juice, to taste
2 large ripe mangoes
300ml double cream
275-300g shop-bought madeira cake


  1. Start with the custard. Place the milk and cream in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks, the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cornflour together in a large bowl until smooth. Slowly pour in the hot cream mixture, whisking all the while so the eggs do not scramble. Pour the whole thing back into the rinsed-out saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Return to just below the boil over a very gentle heat, stirring the mixture constantly; this takes me 10–12 minutes. Cook for another 30–40 seconds, then take off the heat. Stir in the coconut and leave to cool.
  2. Place the strawberries and three-quarters of the pomegranate seeds in a bowl and add the pomegranate juice, if using. Add sugar to taste and a squeeze of lemon juice, to balance the sweet-sharp flavours. Mash some of the strawberries into the sauce and leave to macerate. Meanwhile, prepare the mangoes. Cut the cheeks from the mangoes, peel, then roughly chop. Cut the sides off the stone and see if you can get any unbruised flesh off these as well.
  3. Whip the cream until it is at the soft peak stage.
  4. Cut the cake into 1 cm slices and line the base of a glass trifle bowl. Pour over the macerated strawberries and pomegranate with their juices. Spoon the mango evenly over the top. Pour over the custard. Spoon the cream on top, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until ready to serve, decorated with the reserved pomegranate seeds. You can also use small glasses to make these trifles in individual portions, which look lovely.
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