Strawberry, Cherry and Gin Shortcake Trifle

, from Issue #87. December, 2019
Photography by Olivia Galletly.
Strawberry, Cherry and Gin Shortcake Trifle

This dessert does require some effort but it is totally worth it. Trifle is best assembled a few hours in advance so the shortcake can soak up some of the delicious juices from the macerated fruit.


Serves: 10-12


Strawberry Gin Jelly

500 grams fresh or frozen strawberries, trimmed, halved
170 grams caster sugar
30ml lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 gold-grade gelatine leaves
115ml gin


220 grams plain flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
85 grams chilled butter, cubed
2 large egg yolks, size 7
½ cup cream, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw sugar


350ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75 grams caster sugar
2 large egg yolks, size 7
2 tablespoons cornflour

Macerated Fruit

250 grams strawberries, trimmed, halved
200 grams cherries, halved, pitted
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon gin

To assemble

375 grams full-fat Greek yoghurt
300ml cream, whipped
3 tablespoons icing sugar
60 grams good-quality shortbread biscuits, crumbled
50 grams slivered almonds, toasted



Line a sieve with 2 pieces of cheesecloth set over a bowl. Line a baking tray with baking paper.


Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a saucepan with 750ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid has taken on the strawberry flavour. Gently mash the strawberries but don’t break them up completely. Tip into the sieve and let the juice drain through. Discard the fruit then pour the liquid through fresh cheesecloth. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and let stand for 2 minutes, or until softened. Squeeze out the excess water then add the leaves to the hot strawberry liquid along with the gin, and stir until dissolved. Pour into the base of the trifle bowl and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.


Preheat the oven to 175°C.

In a large bowl or a food processor, mix together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or process by pulsing multiple times until the butter is crumbled through.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ½ cup of cream and the vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Using a large ice cream scoop, dump 6 large spoonfuls of dough onto the baking tray equal distances apart. Chill for 30 minutes. Brush the tops of the shortcake with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream and sprinkle over the raw sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until cooked through.


Combine the milk, vanilla extract and half of the caster sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, egg yolks and cornflour. Once the milk is hot, pour half of it into the egg mixture and whisk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture back into saucepan and whisk continuously until thickened. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Macerated fruit:

Half an hour before you plan to assemble the trifle, combine the fruit, sugar, vanilla extract and gin and set aside at room temperature to soften.

To assemble:

Whisk together the Greek yoghurt, cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form. Top the jelly with layers of custard, macerated fruit, broken up chunks of shortcake, whipped cream mixture, crumbled shortbread and toasted almonds. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.