- 600ml/1pt Red Tractor milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 40g/ 1 1/2 oz caster sugar
- 450g/1lb Madeira cake, sliced
- 150ml/1/4pt medium sweet sherry
- 150ml/1/4pt apple juice
- 300g/11oz strawberries, sliced, plus extra to decorate
- 300ml/1/2pt double cream
To make the custard, pour the milk and vanilla extract into a heavy-based pan and heat until lukewarm. In a large heatproof bowl, beat together the eggs and egg yolks. Blend in the cornflour. Add the warm milk and stir well, then sit the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water and stir with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens (15-20 minutes). Pour the thickened custard into a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, without stirring it in. This will help to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool completely.
Arrange the slices of Madeira cake in the base of a large trifle dish (or shared between 6-8 individual serving glasses). Mix together the sherry and apple juice then spoon over the cake slices, allowing it to soak in for a few minutes before topping with the sliced strawberries. Stir the cooled custard and pour over the fruit. Level the surface, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Whip the double cream in a chilled bowl until it holds its shape. Spoon it over the custard then decorate with strawberry slices to serve.
If making with plums, first simmer 450g/1lb plums halved and pitted, in a little water with 50g/2oz caster sugar, then leave to cool before using.