Trish’s trifle: How to make Uniting resident Patricia’s delicious Christmas trifle

Trish’s trifle: How to make Uniting resident Patricia’s delicious Christmas trifle

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And for many of us, that means planning all the lovely things to eat we’ll be indulging in over the festive season.

At Uniting, we believe in learning from the wisdom of our elders – the knowledge that feeds our minds, our hearts and, yes, our bellies too.

Christmas is a time of nostalgia for many of our residents as they spend time remembering the happy times celebrating with loved ones over the many years of a life lived well. That’s why we’re posting a special selection of recipes from Uniting residents who have shared their favourite treats for a very, merry Christmas.

Trish sitting in her arm chair and tasting the final product

Trish doing a final test

For Patricia – a resident of Uniting The Marion in Sydney – it wouldn’t be Christmas without her famous trifle.

“Trifle, for me, is Christmas,” says Trish. “Because it’s really a delicious time to eat all of those good things.”

This trifle recipe has been passed down from Trish’s mum, and now from Trish to you.

“My Mum loved Christmas,” Trish reminisces. “Her kitchen was her domain. She wouldn’t let you be in her kitchen, she’d say ‘Everyone out’”.

“My Mum did things beautifully,” remembers Trish. “And she’d be very cross if you didn’t do it properly, because the food was expensive.”

“It was a very special time for all of us. We all have that memory of having good food.”

Trish’s trifle:

Shopping list

  • Jelly crystals – one packet of red and one packet of green for the best festive feel.
  • Chopped fruit of your choice (Trish prefers a mix of fresh and tinned)
  • Sponge cake (from the shop is fine)
  • Custard
  • Whipped cream


Trifle is all about layering ingredients and the secret to Trish’s success (and her Mum before her) is the care she takes to ensure each element is layered in a similar width throughout the glass. This enhances the flavour of the dish, as well as the aesthetic.

  • Step one: Prepare the green liquid jelly as per the instructions on the packet and pour a small quantity into individual glasses. Place in the fridge to set.
  • Step two: While jelly is setting, use a biscuit cutter to cut thin discs of sponge cake to fit your glass.
  • Step three: Once jelly is set, top the jelly with your first sponge disc.
  • Step four: Add a layer of custard and follow with another sponge disc.
  • Step five: Arrange the fruit on top of the layered trifle.
  • Step six: Prepare the red liquid jelly and pour a small quantity over the fruit. Place in the fridge.
  • Step seven: Top with whipped cream and a summer cherry or berry to serve.
Adding a raspberry to top off the trifle

Adding the coup de grace

For Trish, the beauty of this Christmas classic is its simplicity. “It’s not very difficult,” she says. “Anyone can make trifle… and it’s really delicious!”

“Good luck with the trifle. And have a very merry Christmas.”

Get in touch

Find out more about Uniting aged care services and how our residents are enjoying life during the festive season, and every day. If you would like to speak to our team of experts call 1800 864 846.

Find out more about how we can help you

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