Patricia Heaton's 'Light and Fresh' Strawberry Trifles Are the Perfect Spring Dessert

If you needed any proof that former Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton is a much better cook than her on-screen persona Debra Barone, here it is.

The actor’s Strawberry Trifles are the perfect and fresh springtime dessert that makes the most of seasonal fruit. Make it as an anytime treat!

Heaton’s character on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ was a terrible cook

Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond was a spirited character, for sure. As for finding her way around a kitchen, the show’s main character infamously had a hard time of it.

“I really related to [Debra] and as the show developed, Debra developed,” Heaton said in a conversation with the Television Academy Foundation. “It’s funny, she could be sort of such a b**ch but I guess she was really patient and she recognized Ray’s good qualities, as much as she got angry at him. She recognized. . . the value of family and I think she was always trying to make it work.

“Debra was such a horrible homemaker! That was what was so wonderful about her was that she couldn’t cook and a lot of time with the kids was like, whatever. I think she tried but she was just like every mom, she’d had it up to here with everything.”

Heaton’s husband is English

When Heaton was dating her now-husband British actor and producer David Hunt, the two wooed from a distance for a while. Specifically, Hunt would read poetry over the phone to his future wife.

The pair met when Hunt began subletting his New York City apartment to Heaton when he had to film on the West Coast.

“It was love at first sight, on my part,” Hunt told A&E’s Biography in 2003.

While he was away, he would call Heaton and recite poetry to her over the phone. “She never hung up on me,” he said. “That was the inroad that I needed.”

And so is her Strawberry Trifles recipe

Heaton tweeted her fruity dessert recipe (find it here) saying, “Spring is here and all my favorite fruits are in season! My Strawberry Trifles are so light and fresh, perfect for outdoor dining. What’s your favorite Spring dessert? #PatriciaHeatonParties #FoodNetwork”

The actor’s recipe calls for unflavored gelatin, strawberries, sugar, whole milk, cornstarch, salt, butter, vanilla extract, angel food cake, heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, orange extract, and mint sprigs. You’ll also need six “wide-mouthed tumblers” for serving.

The gelatin is mixed with boiling water and then with the strawberries. This mixture then is “coarsely” mashed so the strawberries are “broken up” and then it’s refrigerated for an hour.

The custard is now made using the milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. This mixture is also covered and refrigerated until it’s cool.

The angel food cake, strawberry mixture, and custard are then alternately placed in the tumblers.

Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks keep their shape. Add the orange extract and then spoon the cream over the top of each tumbler, decorating each with a mint sprig. Enjoy!

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