When we’re doing the grocery shopping, we’ll inevitable turn down the aisle with all the jellies. Next to all the various types of jellies is a shelf full of box-mix chilled desserts, amongst them a packet for jelly slice. Without fail, every single time Cameron will ‘notice it’ and mumble some variation of ‘mmm, jelly slice’. This is always a not-so-subtle hint towards me that next time I’m thinking of making a dessert, I should make jelly slice. Or even if I’m not thinking of making dessert, I should make jelly slice. Or basically that jelly slice should spontaneously happen pronto. So I decided to surprise him with a batch one weekend.
Jelly slice isn’t something that was a part of my childhood, or even adulthood, but it was very much a part of Cam’s. It was a dessert his Oma used to make for them all, and has continued on to be one of his favourite things. I was yet to try it for myself, so it seemed like as good a time as any to see what all the fuss was about.
Jelly slice is a tri-layered Australian dessert. It consists of a biscuit base, a cream, custard or cheesecake centre, and a layer of jelly on top. It’s delicious and incredibly simple to make.
The base is made like any cheesecake base: by blitzing or crushing up a whole bunch of sweet biscuits and mixing them with butter.
Then pressing it into a pan.
The filling can be made a number of ways. I went for a cream cheese and condensed milk filling. That’s poured into the pan and left to chill.
Last of all comes the jelly layer. Knowing your jelly helps here. I use Aeroplane jelly, and I know through making jelly cubes for parties that when made up as is it doesn’t cut very well. It’s inclined to tear rather than giving perfect edges. Adding an extra teaspoon of gelatine always makes it sturdy without becoming too set, so that’s what I did here. If you use another brand, this might be different.
Once that’s all set you can chop it up into squares of bars.
As I was cutting up this batch, Cam arrived at my place and crept into the kitchen. He started peeking at what I was making and asked, “is that. . . jelly slice?” with all the air of a child who’d just woken to find Santa delivered a stack of presents a month early.
I gave him offcuts to satiate his appetite while I went about chopping up the rest. He loved it so much I had to endure him singing songs about the jelly slice for the rest of the weekend.
|200g (7oz) packet plain, sweet biscuits
125g (4.4oz) unsalted butter, melted
2½ tsp powdered gelatine
¼ cup (60ml/2fl oz.) water
250g (8.8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (approx 400g/14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup (80ml/2.7fl oz) lemon juice
½ cup (125ml/4.2fl oz.) cream
1 tsp powdered gelatine
1 packet of jelly crystals (any flavour, I used raspberry)