This is a fresh, summer take on a trifle recipe, minus the cake and the lemon curd. The recipe relies heavily on the flavor of the berries and the quality of the mascarpone for a cleaner, low sugar dessert that could also pass as a somewhat healthy breakfast. In order to minimize the sugar in the recipe, I also prefer to cook down half of the berries into a compote, which helps their deep flavors naturally release and sweeten the trifle.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can even make the mascarpone from scratch with our homemade mascarpone recipe.
- 2 lb. mixed berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, in any combination, plus more whole berries for garnish
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 lb. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
1) If using strawberries, hull and slice them. Place them in a medium-sized sauce pan and add the other berries. Add the superfine sugar and orange juice and stir to combine. Heat the berry mix on low, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of water if needed to break down the berry mix. You want to cook the mix until the sugars and berries breakdown, darken in color and get a little syrupy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Pour contents into a bowl to cool to room temperature.
2) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, using clean beaters and with the mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mascarpone until soft. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped mascarpone and the lemon zest into the whipped cream until evenly blended.
3) Use four wide-mouthed glasses or a fluted glass trifle bowl if you have it. Pour a layer of the cooked berry mix into the bottom, 1 to 2 inches high. Then spread 2 inches high of mascarpone mix ontop of the berries. Repeat until you finish with a layer of the mascarpone mix and leave about 1 inch of space at the top of the glass. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate anywhere from 4 to 24 hours.
4) When ready to serve, top with a layer of fresh berries and a sprig of mint.