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Hot cross bun and pear trifle


Try out this Easter spin on a classic British dessert - guaranteed to be a show stopper at any family gathering. 

SERVES 16  TAKES 65 minutes to make


  • 8 Co-op Irresistible hot cross buns, left out overnight, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 5 tbsp Co-op cream sherry (optional)
  • 600ml Co-op double cream
  • 40g Co-op Irresistible Fairtrade 70% cocoa dark chocolate, melted
  • 20g Co-op whole almonds, toasted and chopped

For the pears:

  • 500g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • Pared peel and juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 11 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and halved

For the custard:

  • 300ml Co-op whole milk
  • 4 eggs from our Love Local range, yolks only
  • 7 tbsp cornflour
  • 200g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Start with the pears:

  1. Put the sugar, lemon peel and juice, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large pan, pour over 1 litre water and bring to the boil.
  2. When the sugar has dissolved, arrange the pear halves in the pan, so they’re covered with the syrup.
  3. Cover and simmer for 30 mins, then remove from the heat and allow the pears to cool slightly in the syrup.

For the custard:

  1. Heat the milk in a large pan. In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients into a smooth paste.
  2. Add half the milk, stirring well, then pour back into the pan.
  3. Stir constantly, over a medium heat, until it’s smooth and thick.
  4. Set aside and cover with cling film.
  5. To assemble the trifle, place the bun pieces in the bottom of a 23cm diameter, 12cm deep, straight-sided trifle bowl, reserving some for decoration.
  6. Pour over the sherry, if using.
  7. Drain the pears, reserving 4 tbsp of the cooking syrup.
  8. Arrange 9 pear halves around the side of the bowl, cut side facing out.
  9. Blitz half the remaining pears with the reserved cooking syrup, and roughly chop the rest.
  10. Pour the purée over the bun pieces, then top with the chopped pear.
  11. Pour over the custard and leave until completely cool and set.
  12. Whip the cream into soft peaks and spoon onto the centre of the trifle.
  13. Crumble over the reserved bun pieces and drizzle the melted chocolate all over.
  14. Scatter with the nuts, then chill until needed.