Story by Christina Ward
Photography by Joe Laedtke
Trifle. The word is a McGuffin—a misleading name to throw you off the scent. You could not be blamed if you easily dismissed it as an abomination of Cool Whip and canned fruit. You’d be wrong.
The dessert often mocked as the worst excess of 1970s advertising pamphlets (and endlessly featured in online roundups of disgusting masses of gross gooey goop) is actually a delicate and elegant dessert.
Trifles have been done a great injustice. My mission is to redeem them! To put the trifle back on your holiday table in a place of honor to be admired and savored by all.
The origins of trifle are much more interesting than the poorly rendered color photos of the 1970s would have you believe. It is a dessert of nobility with many variations and wonderfully endless
flexibility for the cook.
Traditionally thought of as wholly English, the trifle has many European cousins. In France, it’s referred to as a “charlotte.” When French chefs came to Moscow, it morphed into “Charlotte Russe.” In Italy, we see it as “tiramisu,” “cassata” and “Zuppa Inglese.” The pastry wizards of central Europe built … Read More