British Strawberry Jelly (Gelatin) Recipe

small bowl of strawberry jelly
Strawberry Jelly. john shepherd/Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (22)

This recipe for British strawberry jelly is not jam or fruit spread as it is known in the States, it is the term for a fruit-flavored gelatin dessert.  

A strawberry jelly is the stuff of childhood dreams. Sunday afternoon tea is never right without one, and as the base of a trifle, it is a classic.

In the U.K., jelly is often made using a shop-bought jelly block which is a concentrated, flavored gelatin block that requires only boiling water to make it.

Then there is authentic jelly, made with fruit, sugar, and gelatin as in this authentic recipe. 

Jelly can be served simply on its own as it is so tasty but jelly is fabulous with some whipped cream or ice cream and even custard, which together is a classic of the tea-time table.  

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup/200 g superfine sugar
  • 2 cups/600 ml water
  • 1 pound/500 g fresh strawberries (gently washed and hulls removed)
  • 1/4 cup/75 ml cold water
  • 1/4 ounce/11 g powdered unflavored gelatin

How to Make It

  1. Place the sugar and 2 cups/600 ml water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil vigorously for 5 minutes then remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, take 4 or 5 of the fresh strawberries, leave them whole, and set to one side.
  3. Purée the remaining strawberries with an immersion blender or in a conventional blender or food processor.
  4. Transfer the purée to a large bowl and pour over the cooled sugar-water syrup. Cover with a clean cloth and let infuse for a minimum of 30 minutes or, if you have the time, up to 2 hours. 
  1. Once infused, pass the strawberry mixture through a fine sieve to remove any of the strawberry pulp and seeds. Set aside.
  2. Place 1/4 cup/75 ml cold water into a small dish and sprinkle the powdered gelatin into the water and leave untouched for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 cup of the strained strawberry-sugar syrup mixture in a small saucepan. Stir in the gelatin-water mixture and simmer very gently (do not allow to boil) until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Stir this into the remaining strawberry-sugar syrup.
  4. Transfer to a 3-cup/900-ml gelatin mold and place into the refrigerator and let set. This will take a couple of hours but it is best to leave it overnight. The jelly is ready when it wobbles just slightly. You don't want it to be too hard because the fun of the jelly is in the wobble. 
  5. To serve, decorate the jelly with the remaining whole strawberries and serve with fresh cream, ice cream, or custard. You also garnish with other seasonal fruits—raspberries make a great partner to this strawberry jelly.