First, make the custard. Tip the caster
sugar, cornflour and vanilla into a mixing
bowl and add the eggs and egg yolk.
Whisk with a hand whisk until smooth
Pour the milk and double cream into
a pan and heat gently until hot, but do
not boil. Pour this over the egg mixture
and immediately whisk until blended.
Wash the pan to remove any scum
from the milk and pour the custard back
into the clean pan. Heat gently, stirring
constantly until thickened. Don’t panic
if the custard starts to look lumpy as
it thickens, just continue to heat and
whisk until the custard is thick and
smooth. Pour into a jug and cover
the surface of the custard with cling
film to prevent a skin from forming.
Set aside to cool.
Tip the stoned cherries into a pan
with half the jam or conserve and cook
over a medium heat for 5-10 mins until
softened and saucy. Remove from the
heat and leave to cool slightly.
Spread half the slices of Madeira
cake generously with the remaining
cherry jam. Sandwich with the
remaining cake slices, then cut in half.
Pour the kirsch or brandy into a shallow
bowl, dip each sponge sandwich into
the liqueur, then arrange in the base
of the trifle dish (you will need a shallow,
straight-sided, 20cm round glass dish
about 5cm deep). Line the edges of the
dish first to create a stripy effect, then
fill in the centre with the remaining
sandwiches, pouring over any
Spoon over the cherries and any
juice from the pan, then scatter over
the broken biscuits. Pour over the
cooled custard, then spread whipped
cream over the top. Decorate with fresh
whole cherries and chill for a few hours,
or make it a day ahead and chill for up to
24 hours before serving.