Sherry trifle is one of those desserts that has been around for ever and will never fade away.
To make Jam Swiss Roll:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
2. Grease and line an oblong (13 x 9 inch) tin with parchment paper.
3. In a mixing bowl beat the 4 eggs with the sugar for the sponge base. It should become very light and aerated. The whisk should leave a figure of eight pronounced on the surface of the mixture when the whisk is lifted out of it.
4. Gently fold in the sifted flour with a metal spoon. Be very gentle so as not to knock any of the generated air out of the sponge base but also ensure that all of the flour is incorporated. Pour the mixture into a prepared Swiss roll tin.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown and take the sponge out of the oven.
6. Before the sponge is fully cooled, invert it onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with the caster sugar (50g) and spread with a thin layer of raspberry jam.
7. Carefully roll the Swiss roll up from the longest side rather than from the shortest.
8. Slice in thin slices and arrange in individual glasses or a large bowl making sure that the glass or bowl is fully lined all the way around. Retain a little of the sponge for the middle if you so desire.
9. Sprinkle with some freshly cut fruit, additional jam if desired, and a generous helping of sherry. Do a few layers of the sponge if you wish.
Meanwhile make the custard:
1. Split the vanilla pot lengthways and with a small sharp knife scrape out the seeds of one half of the vanilla pod. Put the seeds and the half pod into the milk and cream in a large saucepan. Wrap the remainder of the vanilla pod and retain for later use.
2. Bring milk, cream and vanilla pod to the boil.
3. Meanwhile in a large spotlessly clean bowl and using a whisk beat the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour together until light and creamy. Spend about 2 minutes on this process.
4. Pour boiled milk and cream mixture onto the eggs and mix well.
5. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until the mixture can coat the back of a wooden spoon. It is important to stir the mixture at all times to prevent it from curdling. This process should take no more than 2 minutes on a very gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil at this time. Taste the custard at this stage to make sure that you can not taste the corn flour. If you can, return to the heat and stir continuously on a low heat for another minute or so.
6. Pour the custard over the sponge mixture and allow to cool for a couple of hours or overnight. Cover with a disc of parchment paper or cling film to prevent the formation of a crust,
7. Pipe some whipped cream on the top and sprinkle, if desired, with some flaked and toasted almonds.
Alternatively arrange with a little more fresh fruit.
If you wish you can put a spoon or two of sherry into the custard for an increased flavour