Passionfruit, banana and ginger trifle

by Christine Knight

If you’re looking for a dessert to serve in lieu of Christmas pudding, can I throw this recipe into the mix? It’s a Scottish-Australian fusion incorporating green ginger wine, passionfruit, ginger marmalade, and many other good things suitable for Christmas in the northern or southern hemisphere. I’ve already served it at a trifle-off (oh yes!) and our office Christmas lunch, and chances are it’ll be making an appearance on Christmas day, too. It could equally play the centrepiece of a decadent afternoon tea, or dessert at a lunch or dinner party, summer or winter.

This recipe owes its structure (including its cut corners) to Delia’s Summer Trifle with Raspberries (or Strawberries) – one of the best, and easiest, trifle recipes ever. The flavours are based on my favourite breakfast combo of passionfruit, banana, Rachel’s Organic Greek style ginger yogurt, and Dorset Cereals marmalade granola (now sadly discontinued). I also owe inspiration to Nigella’s Ginger Passionfruit Trifle, but I’d like to think I’ve pushed the concept a bit further than her five-ingredient version – I’ve never quite understood why she didn’t go the whole hog with this one!

If you make this in individual dishes, do measure out the green ginger wine – 20ml per person. In smaller dishes you can get away with minimal fridge time following assembly. One large trifle does need time in the fridge to coalesce before serving.

Pretty photograph to follow once I have a nice glass trifle bowl that shows up the layers!

Serves 6

6 trifle sponges (the little ones measuring roughly 2 x 5 x 8cm)
¼ cup ginger marmalade (I used Claire Macdonald’s Isle of Skye label)
½ cup green ginger wine (I used Crabbie’s)
175g (peeled weight) ripe but firm bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
pulp of 4 large passionfruit (to yield about 175g)
250g mascarpone
500ml good-quality ready-made fresh custard (in the UK, try Waitrose, Sainsbury’s or M&S)
4 globes stem ginger in syrup
1 tbs syrup from the ginger
toasted flaked almonds, to decorate

You will also need a 1.75L trifle bowl, or 6 x 300ml individual glass dishes.

Split the trifle sponges in half lengthwise with a small serrated knife, so you have two thin flat pieces from each. Spread one side with marmalade and put back together to form sandwiches. Cut each one into 3 pieces and place in the bottom of the trifle bowl. Prick with a skewer or point of a sharp knife, and drizzle the green ginger wine evenly over all.

Thinly slice the bananas and scatter evenly over the trifle sponges, pressing down a little into any gaps. Spoon the passionfruit pulp evenly over the banana.

Place the mascarpone in a large mixing bowl and loosen slightly with a spatula. Gradually whisk in the custard until smooth. Finely grate the stem ginger (a fine Microplane grater, or similar, is best for this) and add to the custard mix with the tablespoon of ginger syrup. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the custard evenly over all, and sprinkle the top liberally with toasted flaked almonds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least several hours before serving – ideally overnight for one large trifle. When serving, make sure that everyone gets a bit of all the layers, including the boozy sponge at the bottom!