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A Taste of History: Rediscover the Delightful Tradition of Homemade Strawberry Jelly

Round silver platter contained a moulded strawberry jelly with mint leaves placed on top and two large strawberries beside it

Image credit: created by Patricia Leslie using Adobe Firefly (AI)

It appears strawberries were popular just as popular in 1882 as now (I love strawberry season!). There was once a time when serving a moulded gelatine dessert was pretty fancy. When I’m adding jelly to my dessert menu, I generally grab a box of crystals and add water as per instructions.

I found this taste of history Strawberry Jelly recipe in the Australian Town and Country Journal: 25 November 1882 issue. Making it from scratch doesn’t sound too hard. I have a cake tin in the requisite shape (as per image) but I’m not sure I have a silver dish to serve it on.

Strawberry Jelly


·        2oz *Nelson's opaque gelatine (56.669 grams)

·        four lemons

·        l0oz sugar (283.495 grams)

·        a piece of cinnamon

·        four cloves

·        the whites of three eggs, and

·        one pint and a half of water. (852.392 ml)


How to use them:

Soak the gelatine in the cold water about an hour, then add the juice of the lemons, the sugar, cinnamon and cloves, the whites of three eggs whisked in a little cold water; stir all together gently over the fire until boiling, let it settle a few minutes, then pass through a flannel jelly-bag, pouring back a few times until quite clear.

Stand the jelly in ice to get nearly cold, pour a little in a jelly-mould, place in a layer of fine strawberries, then a little more jelly, then more strawberries, until the mould is full; stand in ice-water until wanted.

When required, dip the mould in warm water for a few seconds, wipe with a cloth, and turn out on to a silver dish; garnish with white flowers and green fern leaves.

Strawberry jelly - Aus Town & Country Journal November 1882
Download PDF • 135KB


* Notes: Australia converted to Metric Measurement in the 1970s. I've converted the original imperial measurements to metric using Google.

Nelson’s gelatine was probably available from any grocer back in 1882. (🐇🕳️ George Nelson was an English chemist who “invented” table jelly back in 1837). I don’t think it’s available anymore.

vintage newspaper advertisement for Nelson's Patent Opaque Gelatine.

👈Credit: Nelson's patent opaque gelatine : jelly is made with the greatest facility in a few minutes, possessing the whole of the nutriment, without the impurities of the calves' feet / George Nelson. Source: Wellcome Collection.



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