Happy Bank Holidays! If you’re preparing for a Jubilee street party or just fancy impressing your guests with a mouthwatering dessert, I can heartily recommend a portion of Strawberry jelly cake, taken from The WI Vintage Teatime. The original recipe is adapted from the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women’s Institutes ‘Diamond Jubilee Cookery Book’, 1979, a collection of local WI recipes published to commemorate 60 years of WI and a county of esteemed home-cooks and bakers. This jelly is a jubilee veteran.
Preparation time: 1 hour + chilling
Cooking time: 10–15 minutes
- 110 g (4 oz) butter, softened
- 60 g (2 oz) demerara sugar
- 60 g (2 oz) walnuts, finely chopped
- 110 g (4 oz) plain flour
- 2 x 12 g sachets powdered
- 450 g (1 lb) strawberries,
- hulled and thickly sliced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Rub the butter, demerara sugar, walnuts and flour together. Scatter this mixture over a shallow tin and bake for 10–15 minutes. Leave to cool and then crumble into a mixing bowl.
Place the gelatine in a small bowl with 4 tablespoons of water and leave to soften for a few minutes.
Mash a quarter of the strawberries in a small saucepan and add the lemon juice and caster sugar. Bring this mixture to the boil, take off the heat, add the softened gelatine and stir until completely dissolved.
Put a little of this mixture through a strainer into the base of a 1.2 litre (2 pint) jelly mould and chill for 15–20 minutes to set.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and then fold in the remaining sliced strawberries.
When the remaining gelatine mixture is cold and on the point of setting, fold it into the strawberries and cream. Immediately fill the mould with layers of the strawberry mixture and crumbs, starting with strawberry and ending with crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the cream mixture after each addition. Chill for 2–3 hours to set.
To serve, turn out of the mould. Dip the mould briefly in hot (but not boiling) water, loosen the edge of the cake with a fingertip, cover the mould with a plate, turn upside down and then jerk the plate and mould to release the jelly.
Tip If you like, decorate up to 1 hour before needed. Whip 150 ml (5 fl oz) of whipping or double cream, just until it holds its shape, then pipe it around the base of the cake. Arrange a large sliced strawberry around the cream.