I use the term trifle lightly! Rather than the traditional sponge base, I've used a Pineapple and Coconut Torte inspired by a great friend of mine, chef Philip Johnson. Nothing screams summer more than ripe strawberries and if you can track any down from Scott’s Strawberry Farm in Hawke’s Bay, they’re off the dial!


Serves 6. 


Step 1. Pineapple and Coconut Torte

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Grease and line a rectangular baking tin approximately 30cm x 24cm.

Place the pineapple and the 45 gm of sugar into a non-stick pan and place on low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pineapple has softened and begun to colour slightly. Transfer into a food processor, and blitz into a puree. Set Aside.

In a cake mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approximately 8 - 10 minutes). Add the two whole eggs, one egg at a time, waiting for each one to incorporate into the cake batter. Now add the egg yolks one at a time until incorporated. Mix the ground almonds, coconut and baking powder together.  Add this to the cake batter, alternating with the pineapple puree until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, and then gently fold through the cake batter careful not to knock out the air.

Place the cake on a tray and bake in the oven at the 200 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and the cake feels firm in the centre.

Remove and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container until required. 


Step 2. Lemon Curd

In a saucepan add the egg yolks, lemon juice, cream and sugar. Whisk together then place on medium heat. Continue to whisk until the curd thickens and the sugar is dissolved.

Once thick, remove from the heat and beat in the cubes of butter until incorporated. Finally pass through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.  Refrigerate until required.  


Step 3. Stewed Rhubarb

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Rough chop the rhubarb into small pieces, and place in a mixing bowl with the sugar and spices. Mix ingredients around to coat the rhubarb. Transfer into a high sided oven tray, then cover with tin foil.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until tender, and falling apart when stirred. Remove from the oven and cool. Refrigerate until required.


Step 4. Assembling the Trifle

Break up the Pineapple and Coconut Torte into large pieces and fit to the bottom of your serving dish. Spoon a layer of stewed rhubarb over then follow with a layer of strawberries. Spoon a layer of lemon curd over the fruit, and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Finally, top with lashings of softly whipped cream and fine lemon zest.

Photography by Sarah Grace