This Christmas, I’m making Betty’s Jelly Slice as a special treat for my family and friends. It’s colourful (fitting for the season), melt-in-your-mouth delicious and (most importantly) super-easy to prepare.
If you have been following my blog, you may remember I included the recipe for Betty’s Jelly Slice at the end of my story Betty Anderson: 100 years of gratitude and loving service (September 7, 2020). The story is a tribute to a dear friend, Elizabeth Annie (“Betty”) Anderson, of Rockhampton, who died on 25 February 2020, aged 100 years and 6 months.
Betty was a great cook. She was renowned for her baked goods: cakes, biscuits, scones and pastries. She continued to bake these goodies when she was well into her 90s. Her cake and biscuit tins were continually refilled so she always had something homemade to share with her visitors.
Surprisingly, though, Betty’s signature sweet, what I’ve called “Betty’s Jelly Slice”, is a refrigerator biscuit slice. It doesn’t require baking.
On Thursday 29 August 2019, Betty celebrated her 100th birthday. My husband Tony and I joined about 80 of Betty’s family and friends for High Tea at “The Church” events venue, the former St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Rockhampton. This was the church in which Betty was married and in which she worshipped until the building was sold in 2002.
On arrival at the venue, one couldn’t help but notice the boxes of Jelly Slice on a table near the entrance. Betty’s signature slice! There was a box for every guest: A tribute to Betty’s cooking skills and generous hospitality, and a memento of the occasion. “What a great idea,” I thought.
Here’s my updated version of the recipe for Betty’s Jelly Slice, which (like me) you may like to make for your family and friends this Christmas.
BETTY’S JELLY SLICE
125 g butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup cold water
- Crush the shortbread biscuits and place in mixing bowl.
- Add 125 g melted butter and mix well.
- Press the biscuit mixture firmly into a 27.5 cm X 17.5 cm slice tin lined with baking paper.
- Place the tray in the refrigerator to chill.
- Dissolve 1 heaped dessertspoon gelatine in ¾ cup boiling water.
- Pour the condensed milk into a mixing bowl. Add the dissolved gelatine and stir well.
- Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the filling mixture over the prepared biscuit base. Return to the refrigerator.
- Place the raspberry jelly crystals and ½ teaspoon gelatine in a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add 1 cup boiling water and stir thoroughly until the gelatine is dissolved.
- Add ¾ cup cold water and mix well.
- Pour the jelly mixture carefully over the firm filling and chill again.
- When set, cut into squares.
Tip (for Step 12)
I recommend you pour the jelly mixture over the chilled filling while the tray is in the refrigerator. The first time I made this slice, because the tray was full to the brim (!), I spilt some of the raspberry jelly when transporting the tray from the kitchen bench to the fridge.