Here is a brilliant, chilled no-bake dessert that will delight your family and friends from its attractive wobble to the raspberry-lemon-butter flavours bursting out in one mouthful.
I would like to give Australia credit for this recipe as from personal experience, almost every Australian friend I knew raved about jelly slice and served it at most coffee mornings or parties. While catering at parent or staff functions at my sons’ Australian school in Singapore, jelly slice was the number one choice to serve, so you could easily say I could make jelly slice with my eyes closed, especially after preparing 200 portions in one go!
Looking at jelly slice, you may be put off with the work involved, but I have laid out very clear steps with a timing guide to make the perfect jelly slice without any dramas of not setting, biscuits crumbling, layers falling off, etc. I assure you this recipe has been tested at least 50 times!
Switching the biscuit base to gluten-free biscuits is the only change I’ve made to convert this recipe “gluten-free”. It is important to use store-bought gluten-free biscuits. I use either digestive or Maria biscuits (Schär), the latter is the typical “gluten” biscuits used in the Australian recipe. Marie (as known in Australia) biscuits have a stronger hold as a biscuit crust and will keep the lemon and jelly layer sturdy without crumbling.
Most of the time, I use store-bought jelly crystals or jelly blocks to make the raspberry jelly (btw, you could use strawberry flavour if you prefer), but recently I learnt that making homemade jelly works just as well, plus it tastes fresher. In Austria, I can only find the jelly crystals in international supermarkets, so I decided to give it a try just using 100% strained juice mixed in with gelatin powder. It is just as easy as using the crystals.
The timing of adding your layers is very important otherwise you may see some funny things happen, like the jelly sinking into the lemon layer creating an interesting marble effect, or the jelly independently sliding off the lemon layer!
I have compiled a table with the setting times for you to follow in one glance here
Cutting the slices into even portions is a skill I tend to lack, but if you are patient and not in a hurry, you can produce expertly cut jelly slice that will wow everyone.
If you can’t be bothered with all the slicing, set jelly slice into individual glasses (so you can admire the layers!) and serve them with a spoon.
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I hope you give this refreshing dessert a try. I know it’s a bit of a read to know the ins and out, but it is so worth it!
Gluten-Free Jelly Slice
For the gluten-free biscuit base:
- 250g store-bought gluten-free digestive, Marie or butter biscuits, crushed
- 170-180g butter, melted
For the lemon layer:
- 305ml condensed milk (1 x 95g tin)
- 80ml fresh lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons gelatin powder
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 300ml boiling water
For the raspberry jelly layer:
(See further below if you prefer homemade jelly)
- 2 packets of instant raspberry jelly (85- 100g) * See notes
- 250ml boiling water
- 250ml cold water
Fresh raspberries, to serve with (optional)
Note * Good jelly brands that I have tested for jelly slice: Tortally (Singapore), Jell-O (USA), Hartley (UK) and Aeroplane (Australia) (Please note that I am not affiliated with any of these companies – these recommendations are based on personal preferences alone)
For the homemade raspberry jelly see ingredients & recipe further down the page.
1. First, prepare the biscuit base by crushing the biscuits into fine crumbs either using a food processor or in a tied bag pressing down with a rolling pin.
2. Melt the butter gently and add this to the biscuit crumbs, mixing well.
USING DIGESTIVE BISCUITS
3. Press the combined crumb mixture into your chosen glass or plastic container using the back of a spoon to flatten and compact the crumbs.
USING MARIE BISCUITS
4. Chill for 15 minutes.
5. Second, prepare the lemon layer by mixing the gelatin with 3 tablespoons of cold water until completely dissolved.
6. Add the gelatin mixture to the condensed milk and lemon juice, mixing well.
7. Add the boiling water to the mixture and stir continuously until it starts to feel slightly thicker.
8. Pour the lemon mixture over the chilled biscuit layer and chill. Be sure to set a timer for 45 minutes.
9. Lastly, prepare the jelly as soon as the lemon mixture is placed in the fridge, by mixing the jelly crystals or blocks in 125ml boiling water until completely dissolved. *If making homemade jelly, do this step before the lemon mixture is made as it takes longer to set than the store-bought jelly crystals.
10. Add 125ml cold water to the jelly mixture, stir well and set aside at room temperature to cool down for 15 minutes.
11. After 15 minutes, place the jelly in the fridge to cool down further for 15 to 30 minutes.
12. Once the timer has reached 45 minutes, check to see if the lemon layer is set by touching the top gently with a clean finger. If some lemon mixture sticks to your finger, it means it needs a few more minutes of setting. It is ready for the jelly when the lemon layer feels “tacky” and hardly any residue sticks to your finger.
13. Once the lemon layer is ready, pour the jelly gently over an upside-down serving spoon. This technique reduces the “pouring pressure” as the jelly is added and prevents any holes from forming in the lemon layer.
14. Carefully place the jelly slice onto an even surface in the fridge away from any strong-smelling foods like cheese or garlic-based products. Do not cover the jelly slice or bubbles will appear on the jelly surface from the condensation.
15. Allow to set for a minimum of 2 hours.
16. Once completely set, remove from the fridge to start cutting the slices. Prepare this step by filling a tall glass with warm water, selecting a suitable knife to cut with and several sheets of paper towels to wipe the knife with. Select a serving platter or another storage container to hold the cut-out jelly slices.
17. First, score the jelly and lemon layer (not the biscuit layer) by creating straight, even grids across the entire jelly slice. The slice size is up to you, but I normally allow 4 by 4cm.
18. Dipping your knife in the warm water and wiping it with the paper towels often, slice through the biscuit layer using the pre-scored grids as a guide. This technique will ensure a clean, even cut for each jelly slice.
19. Using a fork, gently slide under the biscuit crumb layer and lift it away from the container. The first one may be tricky to do, but after that, it will get easier to remove. Perhaps sample the first one while you are working away removing each slice?
20. Once all the jelly slices have been removed and placed on a serving platter or storage container, either serve them straight away or return them to the fridge to keep chilled.
- Makes 15-20 jelly slices using an 18 x 23cm container
- Keeps for 3 days chilled
- Not suitable to freeze
Homemade Raspberry Jelly
- 500ml raspberry juice (the higher the fruit content, the better), strained
- 3 teaspoons gelatin powder
- Pour 375ml raspberry juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Mix 75ml raspberry juice with the gelatin powder. Add this mixture to the boiling raspberry juice. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes before chilling for a further 45 minutes.
4. Pour over the lemon layer once it is cool.
5. If serving separate, pour into individual glasses and add some fresh raspberries.
6. Chill to set for at least 2 hours.
- Makes 8 portions
- Keeps for 5 days
- Not suitable to freeze
JELLY SLICE TIMES AT A GLANCE
|15 minutes to rest||BISCUIT BASE|
|45 minutes to set||LEMON LAYER|
|30 to 45 minutes to cool|
(If using Homemade Jelly Recipe)
|2 hours to set||COMPLETE JELLY SLICE|