There’s a few regulars that get trotted out of the Brindabella kitchen: my death by brownies, muffins of various sorts, date scones when there’s shearers to be fed, mud cakes for birthday’s and biscotti for Christmas. But jelly slice is not my forte…I leave that up to my bestie and fellow farmer’s wife, Kate, who makes a mean jelly slice to rival the ladies of the Thorpdale Tennis Club in the early 90’s. Don’t you love how food evokes those very specific memories? Jelly slice reminds me of tennis for some reason, a local hitter must have been a jelly slice expert and whipped it up for ‘bring a plate’ after the Saturday arvo match. But it was one of those old-time favourites that, although I enjoyed, I’d never really tried my hand at (why, when I could enjoy Kate’s?!) Then I saw this interesting recipe and ripped it out of a magazine a few years ago, dutifully filed away and forgotten about until this week. Yes, it has taken me all this time (oh and a very screamy baby thrown in there during that year) to re-visit my tear sheet and make ‘the traditional’ jelly slice. Not a tin of condensed milk in sight. What would the ladies of Thorpdale tennis club think?!
Old Fashioned Traditional Jelly Slice
250g Marie biscuits (or homemade biscuits the recipe states, but I’d feel sacrilege crushing my hard earned homemade bickies!)
3 gelatine leaves
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup natural yogurt
2/4 cup caster sugar
300g fresh or frozen raspberries (I used American bramble berries because that’s what I had in the freezer from a local berry farm)
Grease and line a slice tray (around 20cm x 30cm). Crush the biscuits in a food processor, or with a rolling pin in a plastic bag. Melt the butter then mix with the biscuits until combined. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of the slice tray, push down with your fingers or the bottom of a glass until well compacted.
Soften 1 gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water for around 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small saucepan until steam rises. Allow to cool until you can comfortably put your finger in it, then squeeze out the gelatine leaf and stir in into the warm cream until dissolved.
Combine the sour cream, yogurt and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a bowl, whisking together. Whisk in the cream. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and refrigerate while you make the berry jelly. Combine the berries, water and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and cook until the thickened slightly. Leave to cool. While cooling, soften the remaining 2 gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. When the berry mixture has cooled enough that you can put your finger in it, squeeze out the gelatine and stir in into the berry mix until dissolved.
Allow to cool to room temperature before pouring on top of the cream layer. Refrigerate the slice overnight before cutting and serving.
This most definitely isn’t the jelly slice of my childhood, but is a delicious cousin! And jelly crystals kind of give me a case of the astonished eyes emoji…eeeep! It’s often nice to go back to making things in a very traditional way, don’t you think? I especially enjoy doing non-Thermomix recipes these days, don’t get me wrong I love my Thermie, but there’s a time and a place for whisking and banging a sieve, measuring cups and licking the spoons (although this very much goes on with my Thermie rubber spatulas, don’t you worry!) Simple cooking with deliberate steps and methodical process. Just like Nanna (or mysterious Thorpdale tennis lady) used to do…or not, because I know the jelly slice of my childhood most definitely involved a heck of a lot of jelly crystals.
Do you have a jelly slice memory like I do?
Tear recipes out of magazines and forget about them?
Any bramble berries growing near you?
Know who in Thorpdale made the jelly slice? Legendary.