Sometimes it’s an interesting dish from the other side of the world that excites me; other times it’s seasonal produce or food from our own garden, or the challenge of making something from scratch. And then there is another side to me – totally smitten with the old-school Australian/British baking of my childhood. The things my Nana made, and the cakes you could buy at our local country bakery (which of course you still can, and which we do, whenever we’re on a road trip. We dip into what we call ‘the bakery fund’, which extends to my husband buying pies, pasties and sausage rolls whenever there’s a reasonable opportunity – especially if there is ‘award-winning’ something announced in the bakery window, i.e. in every second town.)
I LOVED nut loaf from the bakery in my hometown of Port Fairy, Victoria – a simple walnut- and sultana-studded, mildly spiced cake baked inside a tubular tin, which you then sliced and slathered in butter. Years ago I found a second-hand tin, which I happily break out every so often. Tweaking my recipe a little each time, as I do.
Lamingtons were another big favourite, and I have been known to bake mini ones and giant cake-sized ones for our kids’ birthday parties. I also adored custard tarts – think it was all about the nutmeg on top. I’m threatening to try and make some of these soon.
Maybe my weakest spot of all was jelly slice. Mmmmm, that biscuity crust, that wobbly sweet creamy layer, that shiny ruby jelly coating! Of course, now I’ve grown up all health-focused, I sadly can’t bring myself to make a recipe that combines supermarket biscuits, condensed milk and jelly crystals! Our loss … until I had the idea to make my own version with homemade jelly containing real raspberries, and a creamy layer made of natural dairy. I’ve kept the good old Marie biscuits in the recipe, but you can use homemade biscuits if you like.
P.S. This recipe was originally published with a story I wrote for Slow Living magazine (December 2015). Now happily joining the blog 🙂
Gelatine leaves make a clearer jelly than powdered gelatine, and are what I generally use. But, especially as this jelly contains whole raspberries, it shouldn’t matter if you’d rather use powdered gelatine because it’s easier to find/what you have in the cupboard. (If so, calculate the amount needed based on 1½ teaspoons for each titanium leaf.)
250 g Marie biscuits or homemade biscuits
170 g butter
2½ titanium gelatine leaves
50 ml cream
150 ml sour cream
150 ml natural yoghurt
¾ cup caster sugar
300 g fresh or frozen raspberries
200 ml water
Butter a slice tin (around 20 x 30 cm) and line it with baking paper. Crush the biscuits in a food processor (or with a rolling pin). Melt the butter in a medium saucepan then stir in the biscuits, mixing well. Press into the base of the tray, compacting it with your hands.
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 and stir it into the warm cream until dissolved.
Combine the sour cream, yoghurt and ¼ 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 raspberry jelly.
Combine the raspberries, water and remaining ½ cup of sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and cook until the raspberries become a little pulpy (this could be before or after the mixture boils, depending on whether you are using frozen or fresh raspberries). Leave to cool. While cooling, soften the remaining 1½ gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. When the raspberry mixture has cooled enough that you can put your finger in it, squeeze out the gelatine and stir it into the raspberry liquid until dissolved. Allow to cool to almost room temperature before pouring on top of the cream layer. Refrigerate the slice overnight before cutting and serving.