If you haven’t binge-watched Friends yet even though all ten seasons are available on Netflix, you should do so immediately. For those of you who have seen every episode fifty times like I have, then you know that some of the most iconic, laugh-so-hard-you-pee moments came from the annual Thanksgiving episodes.

A touch football game for the coveted Geller Cup, a guest appearance by Brad Pitt and of course Monica shimming while neck-deep in a raw turkey made for great television. But “The One Where Ross Got High” from Season 6 shines for one reason: Rachel’s trifle.

Rach tries to impress her friends by making the “traditional” English layered dessert, but her cookbook pages are stuck together, resulting in a half-trifle, half-shepherd’s pie, meaty-dessert fiasco. Here’s a clip:

I don’t know about you, but nothing satisfies my sweet-tooth more than oniony ground beef. Ross claims it “tastes like feet.” So of course, I decided to whip one up for myself.

Trifle from Friends

Photo by Kathleen Lee

I took the time to make the custard from scratch à la Rachel, and I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater anyways, so I was not entirely dreading the taste test.

Trifle from Friends

Photo by Kathleen Lee

I felt like I was eating dog food.

The sweet custard, jam and whipped cream coat the meat globules, resulting in a nauseating, reverse-Everlasting Gobstopper effect. One bite was more than enough for me, but if you are a sadist or want a good laugh at your Friends-giving, the recipe follows. Happy holidays!

Rachel's "Traditional" English Trifle

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:20 minutes
  • Total Time:30 minutes
  • Servings:10-12
  • Easy


  • 1 package lady fingers
  • 1 jar raspberry jam
  • 2 cup custard
  • 1 package raspberries
  • 10 oz ground beef
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Whipped cream
  • Step 1

    Assemble the ingredients. Sautée the ground beef with peas and onions and prepare a custard ahead of time (use this easy creme anglaise recipe).

  • Step 2

    Line the bottom of a large clear bowl with a layer of lady fingers.

  • Step 3

    Add the raspberry jam until the lady fingers are completely coated. Cover the jam layer with half of your custard. Top with raspberries.

  • Step 4

    Add another layer of lady fingers.

  • Step 5

    Add a layer of the beef mixture.

    #SpoonTip: If you actually want to serve this trifle to people and not have them hate you, substitute the beef and veggies for another type of berry or fruit.

  • Step 6

    Add the rest of your custard and sliced bananas.

  • Step 7

    Cover with whipped cream and garnish. Serve immediately, before people can run away.