Video special: Whip up a Greek sweet treat this Christmas

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Do you find Christmas Pudding a bit stodgy? The Yorkshire Post has teamed up with George Psarias, the owner of the award winning chain of Olive Tree restaurants in Leeds, to come up with an alternative idea for a Christmas lunch dessert.

Although the origin of this trifle is not confirmed one story claims that it was named after Queen Charlotte of England in the 1700s.

George  Psarias, owner of the Olive Tree restaurant in Leeds

George Psarias, owner of the Olive Tree restaurant in Leeds

This trifle has a creamy topping covering apricots and apricot jam, it can be made in advance and then decorated with summer fruits or flaked almonds before serving.

Try it yourself...

You will need:

125g dried stoned apricots soaked overnight, drained and finely chopped

2 tablespoons apricot jam

Juice and zest of one orange

800ml milk

4 large free range egg yolks

75g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, spliced lengthways and beans removed or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon rosewater (optional)

4 tablespoons cornflour diluted with some milk or water

12 sponge fingers broken in a few pieces or 125g Madeira cake cubed

For decoration: Summer fruits, flaked almonds or pistachio nuts.


In a small pan, combine the apricots, apricot jam, orange juice and zest, just cover with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5­6 minutes until the apricots soften and the juices thicken. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Place the milk in a pan over a gentle heat and heat it to just below simmering point, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

While the milk is heating, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and rosewater, if using, in a medium bowl until the mixture is slightly pale – about 3 minutes.

Place a towel underneath the bowl to steady it. Gradually pour the hot milk into the bowl, whisking the egg mixture constantly.

Transfer to a clean saucepan and gently cook over a medium heat whisking continuously until the custard comes to simmering point and it is think and smooth and coats the back of a spoon.

To assemble the trifle, divide the trifle sponges or Madeira cake into six glass bowls then soak the cake with the apricots and their juices.

Finally finish with a layer of custard and flatten with a spoon. Decorate with Summer fruits or toasted flaked almonds, or pistachio nuts. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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