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Clementine Trifle

Clementine and Cardamom Christmas Trifle with Amaretto and Pistachio

This recipe takes the traditional trifle but gives it a Christmassy twist with additions of clementine’s, cardamom, amaretto and pistachio. Not only does it taste amazing, but it makes for a show stopping dessert at your Christmas table.

Course Dessert
Cuisine british
Keyword Christmas, Christmas Dessert, Trifle
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Author Maldon Salt


  • 10 clementines
  • 300 g gluten-free Madeira Sponge, or plain sponge cut into 2cm slices 
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 
  • 600 ml double cream
  • 60 ml amaretto 
  • 100 g icing sugar 
  • a pinch Maldon Salt
  • 3 tbsp amaretto
  • 25 g pistachios chopped
  • 5 gluten-free amaretti biscuits crumbled
  • 6-8 physalis to decorate
  • edible gold glitter to decorate (optional)

For the custard

  • 9 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 75 g golden caster sugar 
  • 60 g cornflour 
  • 450 ml whole milk
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 6 cardamom pods 


  1. Begin by making your custard. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks with the golden caster sugar until pale and thickened, then add the cornflour and mix again. 

  2. In a saucepan, heat the 450ml whole milk, 250ml double cream, 6 based cardamom pods and the vanilla bean paste gently until it reaches scalding point, then remove from the heat and pour gradually into the egg mixture through a sieve to catch the cardamom pods, whisking as you go until all the milk and cream is added and you have a smooth mixture.

  3. Clean out the saucepan and the pour the custard back in. Place it onto the heat once more and gently heat over a low flame, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula until the custard has thickened. 

  4. Remove the custard from the heat and pour into a bowl. Use clingfilm to close cover the surface of the custard – this will stop it from creating a skin – and place into the fridge to cool. 

  5. You will need a large trifle dish to assemble your dessert. Start with the clementines, peel them and cut into rounds roughly 1cm thick. Place the slices of clementine around the bottom of the trifle dish so they stand up against the sides. Next take the slices of Madeira cake and place into the bottom of the dish (these can be used to help stand the clementine slices up) and keep layering up until you have used all the cake. 

  6. Next you want to drizzle the Madeira cake layer with the 3 tbsp amaretto. The next layer is the custard. Remove the cooled custard from the fridge and pour this over the cake layer. 

  7. Finally add the 600ml double cream to a large bowl and add the icing sugar and a pinch of Maldon salt, then either using a balloon whisk or an electric whisk whip the cream until it starts to form soft peaks. Add the 60ml amaretto and whisk again – ensuring not to over whisk – you want medium peaks that aren’t too stiff. 

  8. Spoon the cream over the custard layer and use the back of your spoon to create soft peaks in the top. Decorate the top of the trifle with crushed amaretti biscuits, chopped pistachios, physalis fruit and gold leaf, if desired. Serve.