To make the custard, heat the cream in a small saucepan, taking care that it does not scorch. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. When the cream is hot, pour it into the bowl with the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
Return the custard to the saucepan and stir constantly on low heat until thickened, but do not let it boil. Remove it from the heat and cool. To assemble the trifle, spread the pieces of cake with a very thin layer of jam. Put the pieces in a large bowl. (Clear glass or crystal is traditional.) Sprinkle the sherry and berries over the cake and stir.
Don't bother to thaw frozen berries; there's less mess if they're frozen. Peel and thinly slice the banana. Stir it in with the cake and berries. Drizzle the custard over the top. Don't expect to cover and completely encase the cake and fruit mix. Spread the whipped cream over the trifle. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
- 5 cups pound cake pieces
- or sponge cake pieces
- raspberry jam
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup sherry
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- OR blackberries
- 1 large banana
- 1/2 pint heavy cream -- whipped
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds -- lightly toasted