Okay, you know when you watch an episode of your favorite TV show, and you just have to try whatever they are eating on camera? For me, that was Rachel Green's English Trifle on Friends, and I finally got the chance to make it.  

Recently, I received Friends: The Official Cookbook for my 21st birthday, so to say I was completely ecstatic to see Monica's Thanksgiving turkey with sunglasses on the cover was an understatement. 

The One With the First Impression

Lauren Wood

I quickly flipped through the pages and pointed out all of the recipes I eventually wanted to make, including Joey's Meatball Sub, Ugly Naked Guy's Sausage Party, and of course, Rachel's Meat Trifle.

I mean, could we be anymore more excited?

However, after trying to actually make the recipe, I was left utterly confused and a tad disappointed, much like other reviewers on Amazon. 

One user even wrote: "I am surprised at all the inaccuracies given this is the “official” cookbook. Despite the grossness, I was really looking forward to the recipe for Rachel’s trifle and the one in the book isn’t even close to what was in the show." 

The sad part? They weren't wrong. 

While reading through the English trifle recipe, I found that it was full of gaps and holes. It even required two other recipes to have already been pre-made prior to the trifle, including The Opposite of Man: Blackberry Mint Jam and Lemon Curd.

Lauren Wood

Unlike Monica, I have never made blackberry mint jam or lemon curd before, but I knew it wasn't going to be cheap if I wanted to make everything by hand.

I wasn't wrong. 

After sitting down and creating my grocery list for this much-anticipated treat, I had to check the total twice when it came to the outrageous amount of $74.33; $37.82 for the trifle, $26.71 for the homemade jam, and $9.80 for the lemon curd. 

Oh. My. God.

Although this recipe is definitely not college-budget friendly, I knew I had to try it at least once, even if I didn't know what a trifle dish was or what it looked like.

Nevertheless, when the time came, I chose to save $55.42 by cutting this recipe in half and tossing pre-made Dickinson's blackberry jam and lemon curd into my cart instead. 

I know Monica would be disappointed by my lack of effort, but if rent was due that day for her as well, then she would buy pre-made jam and lemon curd, too. 

After getting home and laying all of my ingredients out, I decided to turn on Friends (Season 6, Episode 9) and get to work on Rachel's English trifle. 

The One Who Doesn't Know How to Cook

I began by cutting my pound cake (which should have just been lady fingers) into 2-inch pieces and lined the bottom of my only clean dish, a medium-sized mixing bowl. 

Lauren Wood

Then, I added "dollops of jam" to the pound cake and placed a handful of berries on top. I didn't know how much to add, and since the cookbook didn't specify, I just included as many as I deemed necessary. 

Looking back, I probably should have used a cylindric container rather than a round bowl because my "trifle" started to fall apart pretty quickly. Nevertheless, I "jam"-packed it together with some more fruit and blackberry preserves. 

Lauren Wood

Finally, I added some of the whipped cream and lemon curd (unspecified amount) to the top of the berries before continuing to layer the dessert. However, because the lemon was so strong, I did not add any to final layer. 

Now, it states that you can use candied bacon as a garnish for the top, but I decided to have this trifle be completely meat-free (against Joey's wishes), so I just added more blueberries and strawberries before calling it a day. 

The One With The Verdict

After spending $20 on this dessert and following the recipe from the Original Friends Cookbook, I thought it would look a bit more like Rachel's Meat Trifle (sans the meat), but alas, I was left disappointed. 

Lauren Wood

Whether it was due to my lack of cylindrical dishes or the recipe's absence of lady fingers, raspberries, plain whipped cream, bananas, and other layered fruits, it looked nothing like Rachel's. Nor did it resemble other copycat dishes, like Wylie Gorup's

Kathleen Lee

Nevertheless, the taste was decent but very, very zesty. Next time, I will be cutting down on the lemon curd to save the other berries' flavors. That, or I will just follow a different recipe entirely. 

Although Friends: The Official Cookbook is a fun, novel way to relive some of my favorite moments from the show, I do not think these recipes live up to the characters' nature. Nor do I believe the price and time are worth the final product, but it is still a unique way to recreate iconic recipes from the show.  

Like I said before, I am not a professional chef like Monica, nor do I have the money to properly make these pricey recipes like Ross, but this was my personal experience, and I thought I would share it from one friend to another.