Trifle Jelly – 2L bundt tin (start making 2 days in advance)
Jelly is a great alternative to a heavy Christmas dessert. It's nice and light after a big meal and you can make it a day in advance. This trifle jelly has quite a few parts of it but it looks spectacular as a Christmas centrepiece on the table! The great thing about jelly once you've got the hang of it is that you can get creative too! If you'd rather use different flavours eg. cherry juice, cranberry juice, instead of the strawberry layer, give it a go! I've even made a port wine jelly from scratch :)
Have a go at making the strawberry jelly from scratch as the real flavour is a really lovely surprise after years of only eating the artificial flavour.
Bundt tins are great for this type of jelly as they are big and have a cake like feel when released from the tin. Measure the volume of your mould before you get started (just put water in your mould and tip it into a measuring cup). Adjust the recipe depending on the size of your tin and if you use your universal rule of jelly (6 gelatine sheets to 500ml) you won't go wrong.
There are a few parts of this recipe, so read the whole thing first before you start.
Strawberry jelly * The trick with getting a really clear strawberry jelly is to gently heat the fruit and not do too much stirring to extract the juice. Best to start the strawberry jelly two days in advance of the event.
Ingredients for 700ml of liquid – this will be for two seperate layers of jelly
8 gelatine leaves (we use MacKenzie's which you can buy at Coles/ Woolworths – but just check on the packet of whatever leaves you buy to check the ratio of liquid to gelatine)
700g ripe strawberries (Put a few of your best looking strawberries aside to decorate the first layer after the liquid has been made)
Juice of ½ lemon (strain the juice so there is no pulp)
About 300ml of water
1. Firstly you have to make the strawberry juice! Start by hulling and coarsely cutting the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice and placing in a medium sized heatproof bowl and cover with cling wrap.
2. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and shake the strawberry mixture from time to time. Do this for roughly 30 minutes so that the juices are released.
3. To seperate the juice from the pulp, use a muslin-lined sieve, nut bag or clean tea towel set over a large jug to strain the juice into. *It's best to do this over a few hours (or even overnight) so that the juice comes out just with gravity rather than pushing it through. This will allow the juice to come out the clearest. If you are desperate to extract more juice, push the back a spoon gently on the pulp but don't go crazy!
4. If the strawberries were ripe and juicy you should get a lot of juice extracted. Top up with water to get to the amount of liquid required, but taste test on the way to see if you need more sugar etc.
5. Cut the gelatine leaves in half and place into a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Cover with water and wait 10 minutes until the gelatine has softened. Pour out the excess water.
6. Cover the gelatine leaves with a small amount of the strawberry liquid and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until the gelatine has dissolved.
7. Add the gelatine mixture to the rest of the strawberry liquid.
8. Slice the strawberries you set aside earlier and arrange on the base of the mould. Pour in a small amount of the strawberry mixture over the slices until they are just covered and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or a bit longer (rearrange the strawberries if they have drifted once they are in the fridge).
9. Once the first layer is semi set, add ½ the strawberry mixture by pouring slowly over the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or a bit longer until semi set.
10. Set aside the remaining strawberry mixture for later.
Custard jelly * I made my jelly from custard powder, but you could cheat and use store bought custard and minus a couple of gelatine leaves (it doesn't need quite as many as it is very thick).
Ingredients for 1L of liquid
12 gelatine leaves
4 level tbsp of custard powder (we used Foster Clark's Vanilla Flavoured)
2 tbsp sugar
4 cups (1L) of milk
Place 4 level tbsp of custard powder and 2 tbsp of sugar in a saucepan and blend with a small amount of the milk to make a paste (about 4 tbsp)
1. Gradually add remaining milk. Slowly bring to the boil stirring continuously. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. If there are lumps – get a hand held blender and pulse for in 5 second intervals until smooth.
2. Skim off any bubbles and set aside in a jug until the mixture has cooled.
3. Cut the gelatine leaves in half and place into a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Cover with water and wait 10 minutes until the gelatine has softened. Pour out the excess water.
4. Cover the gelatine leaves with a small amount of the custard liquid and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until the gelatine has dissolved.
5. Add the gelatine mixture to the rest of the custard mixture.
6. Add 1/3 of the custard mixture to the mould by pouring slowly over the back of a spoon (make sure the custard isn't hot as this will dissolve the strawberry jelly). Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or a bit longer until semi set.
7. Set the other 2/3 of the custard mixture aside for the jam roll layer.
1. Add the second half of the strawberry mixture to the mould by pouring slowly over the back of a spoon (if it's started to set, just put in the microwave for 20 seconds to loosen it up – make sure it's not hot though when you put back into the mould). Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or a bit longer until semi set.
Jam roll layer
One-two packets of mini jam rolls (I used Coles brand but there may be better ones out there!)
1. Cut the jam rolls into 2cm (or slightly larger) rounds. Make sure there is enough to fit around your mould.
2. After the strawberry layer is set add the last 2/3 of the custard mixture. Wait until the custard layer has thickened but not set, and push your jam rolls into the mixture nice and tight around the outside of the tin to create a decorative mould around the tin.
3. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours until firm set.
4. Unmould to serve by putting the outside of the mould in a bowl of very hot water. Wait a few seconds for the jelly to slightly melt from the edge of the tin and flip over onto a cake stand or plate. If there is any extra liquid released, clean up with a paper towel.
5. You can also put the jelly back in the fridge after it has been unmoulded. Just make sure the extra liquid has been cleaned up so it doesn't reset.
6. Serve with whatever you like! Whipped cream, ice-cream, cut strawberries etc.