Gary Mehigan’s brilliantly easy trifle makes the most of the best summer’s berries. Doesn’t get any better than this!

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 250g strawberries
    150g raspberries
    150g blackberries
    150g caster sugar
    200g mascarpone
    200ml pouring cream
    1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
    10 amaretti biscuits
    75ml Amaretto
    Crunchy meringues
    6 free-range egg whites
    250g caster sugar

Method:

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 130°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.To make the meringues: whisk the egg
whites and sugar in a stainless-steel bowl for 5 to 10 minutes with a hand-held electric beater until the mixture is silky and stiff peaks form.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle, then pipe small 1.5cm wide and 1.5cm high meringues out onto the baking paper. Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp on the outside and still soft in the centre. Makes about 30.

To make the trifle:

Bring half the berries and the caster sugar to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 6 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the berries collapse. Purée the berry mixture in a blender.Whisk the mascarpone, cream and vanilla seeds with hand-held electric beater until soft peaks form, then set aside.

Crush the biscuits and drizzle with the Amaretto. Spoon or pipe a little of the berry puree into the base of 4 glasses, then spoon in some of the cream mixture. Add some of the berries and a little more cream, then add a layer of biscuits.

Repeat this layering process until all the cream mixture, berry purée, berries and biscuits are used. Pile a few meringues high on each trifle and serve.

Chef’s notes:

I remember trifle was a standby for Mum when we had visitors over summer and it’s a standby for me today because it is so versatile. Here you have a dessert that, as things come into season, can be transformed into something different each time you make it. In summer think mangoes, blackberries, cherries, peaches, raspberries and gooseberries.