Roasted Pear Trifle

  • Active Time 1h 30m
  • Total Time 4h

20 servings, about 2/3 cup each

Trifle, the quintessential British dessert, can be made in endless variations. This crowd-pleasing version is perfect for entertaining—you assemble it in advance and it actually gets better as it sits. The results never fail to impress.

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate, without Vanilla Cream, for up to 2 days.


  • For the Custard:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Roasted Pears & Trifle:
  • 8 firm, ripe Bosc pears (about 3 1/4 pounds), peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • 3/4 cup apricot fruit spread or preserves
  • 3 3-ounce packages ladyfingers (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons amaretto, divided (see tip)
  • 1 pint raspberries, rinsed
  • 1 3/4 cups Vanilla Cream (see recipe)
  • Ingredient Note: Ladyfingers can be found in the in-store bakery of most supermarkets.

  • Substitution: Replace amaretto with 4 tablespoons orange juice mixed with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

Companion recipe: Vanilla Cream


To prepare custard: Whisk the eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt and 1/2 cup milk in a medium bowl until smooth. Heat the remaining 3 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return this mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard bubbles and thickens. (Use caution, as hot custard will sputter). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the custard to a shallow glass dish. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight.

To roast pears: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the pears, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Spread the pears on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the pears until tender and golden brown in spots, turning occasionally, 45-50 minutes.

While the pears are roasting, toast the almonds, if using, in a small baking pan until fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble trifle: Melt the apricot preserves in a small saucepan over low heat. Arrange 14-15 ladyfingers in the bottom of a trifle bowl (8-inch diameter), trimming them if necessary to fit tightly. Drizzle 1 tablespoon amaretto over the ladyfingers and dot with 3 tablespoons of the preserves. Top with one-third of the roasted pears (about 1 1/3 cups) and a scant 1/2 cup raspberries. Spread 3/4 cup custard over. Repeat layering 2 more times with ladyfingers, amaretto, preserves, fruit and custard. Top with 13-15 ladyfingers (you may have leftovers); drizzle with the remaining amaretto. Spread the remaining custard over the top. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make Vanilla Cream, if using.

Shortly before serving, spread the Vanilla Cream (or whipped topping) on top of the trifle, if desired, and garnish with toasted almonds, if desired, and the remaining raspberries.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 7469

nutrition information per serving

197 calories; 1g total fat; 1g total saturated fat; 32mg cholesterol; 65mg sodium; 42g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 4g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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