Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Sweet Berry Jellies


and the perils of sugar cookery in the tropics.

Cooking in a tropical climate has presented me with many previously unencountered challenges!

Melbourne, my home town is in a temperate zone. Our summers are generally hot and dry, though increasing humidity comes as a result of climate change. Brisbane on the other hand is in a tropical zone with sultry summers.

Wanting to take advantage of having her Mum and cooking mentor in the kitchen, Leah was keen to experiment making confectionary, lokum and nougat were her main objectives. We both made a batch of Turkish delight with limited success, something to work on in the future. Leah has posted the details of her nougat journey on her blog.

My fruit jellies began with a pot of sweetened tea, a strong aromatic infusion of “Berries of the Forest” tea from Jones the Grocer which was too fruity as a beverage for our taste. I used the titanium strength gelatine I had brought from home along with an idea from Not Quite Nigella. The jellies set well, the texture was melt in your mouth, but they were still substantial enough to easily handle. The flavour was intensely berry, but sadly the sugar coating melted off the jellies once they were refrigerated.

It came to me while writing this that maybe condensation formed in the fridge was the sugar melting culprit so I moved a cube of berry jelly to a saucer on the kitchen bench and waited to see how it would fare. After a couple of hours the jelly was still holding it’s form and was still firm enough to handle, so I tossed it in white granulated cane sugar and waited. My jelly cubes held their form as did the sugar crystals. I recommend tossing only the quantity of jelly cubes you intend to serve in sugar crystals just before plating.

It’s with confidence that I can pass this recipe on. The berry flavour is fresh and intense.

Sweet Berry Jellies
2 cups strong berry tea make with 4 tablespoons tea and 2 1/2cups of water
2 cups sugar
9 titanium strength gelatine leaves
1/4 cup raspberry juice

Make a strong brew of tea and allow to steep for 1/2 hour.
Line a 25 cm square straight sided plastic container with plastic kitchen wrap.
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water until pliable.
Measure the tea into a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Drop the gelatine sheets into the hot syrup one at a time, stirring after each sheet is added.
Stir in the berry juice.
Allow to cool, then pour into the lined container.
Chill until set or overnight.
Tip the jelly onto a cutting board and cut into cubes.
To serve, toss the jellies in granulated sugar.
Pack unsugared jelly cubes into an airtight container and store in a the fridge.

About ladyredspecs

I wear two blogger hats, food and photos. My inner Melbourne kitchen, the heart of my home, is concurrently art/craft studio, workplace and sweatshop. I am a slave to my cooking passion and to my cameras. My love of good food holds me in a lifetime of bondage, as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I feel privileged that my sixty years of experiences have mirrored both the cultural homogenization of Australian food and the digital progression of photography. While my love of food is acquired and my creations transient, the artistic genes I inherited and my photographic record permanent. These two loves are a natural yin and yang. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating, respect for ingredients, an abhorrence of artificial additives and a good palate, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

14 comments on “Sweet Berry Jellies

  1. ohlidia
    February 21, 2014

    Homemade jellies! How fabulous is that?

    • ladyredspecs
      February 21, 2014

      Aside from the frustration with the sugar melting in the humidity, they were a big hit!

  2. rondita
    February 6, 2014

    Oh my, looks so yummy! :) Do you consider the recipe hard for someone (read: me) who hasn’t much experience of making sweets?

    • ladyredspecs
      February 6, 2014

      Hi Rondita, the only tricky part is handling the gelatine. Providing you follow the instructions you will be fine. Thanks for dropping by

  3. Fig & Quince
    January 22, 2014

    Oh my gosh, I got excited just looking at the top photo. I love love these kind of sweets. Will have to try your recipe. YUM!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 22, 2014

      Natural jellies are so simple to make and taste heaps better than anything you can buy. These to be strong enough to handle like confectionary without being rubbery

  4. marymtf
    January 20, 2014

    I’m going to use vegetarian gelatine as my boys are vegetarian. Will that work? How did you manage to post as often as you did when away on your trip last year? I’m having a hard time of it while my granddaughters are visiting.

    • ladyredspecs
      January 20, 2014

      Now you have me there, I’ve never used vegetarian jelly but there’s no reason it wouldn’t work! I’m an early riser so often write and process photos while the rest of the household sleeps. I use the WP forward scheduler all the time, so when I have a session in the kitchen there’s usually enough material for a number of posts and I plan ahead so food for posts get included on the weekly food prep list. I often word processed while we were on the road in WA last year. The IPad makes like so simple!

  5. saucygander
    January 19, 2014

    Pretty! Jelly is something I have yet to tackle, this looks much more flavoursome than store-bought ones!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 19, 2014

      Thanks, no artificial colours or flavours, just beautiful intense berry flavour! As I mentioned in another comment, perfect with fruit juice too!

  6. I have never tried to make jellies before, but you have me intrigued… inspired, really. I may have to see if I can find a berry tea. I’m wondering if a fruit juice would work?

    • ladyredspecs
      January 19, 2014

      Yes fruit juice works brilliantly. Pineapple juice is the only exception I know of, it has an enzyme which prevents the gelatine from setting.

  7. Transplanted Cook
    January 18, 2014

    I’ve always had similar problems with lokum (aka Turkish delight) – okay, to be honest, it’s always ended in disaster! But your jellies look interesting and definitely worth experimenting with. Will be interested to hear how you get on with Turkish delight in future.

    • ladyredspecs
      January 19, 2014

      I’m keen to give lokum another go. I’ve done a bit of research and have been comparing vastly differing recipes, hopefully to find a reliable formula. Watch this space!

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2014 by in FODMAP Diet Friendly, Food, Gluten Free, Sweet mouthfuls and tagged , , , , .

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