Sunday, August 14, 2011

Milk Jelly: an English-Style Pudding

With Malta once belonging to the vast British Empire, it's no surprise that my mom remembers Nanna and her sister, our Auntie Christina, occasionally making this English treat in Malta during the 1970s. Although my research (a 2 minute Google search) has taught me that it's known as milk jelly in England, Auntie Christina simply called it jelly.

So what is it exactly? The ingredient list is stunningly short, and the preparation is amazingly simple. The combination of flavored gelatin, water, and evaporated milk make for a thick and creamy, almost custard-like dessert, which is not necessarily what one expects considering it's called "jelly" and its main ingredient is gelatin. We chose to make our milk jelly with strawberry flavored gelatin, but I'm sure many other flavors, like raspberry or maybe even orange, would be lovely as well.

This dessert is perfect to make and enjoy on a hot summer afternoon. No turning on the oven or the stove in this recipe -- something fairly desirable when the mercury is rising outside. After chilling in the fridge for a couple hours, the pudding can be topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, shaved chocolate, a sprig or two of fresh mint, or anything else that you would like. It's also quite tasty without any toppings. Best of all, if you use nonfat evaporated milk, and forgo the toppings, this pudding registers in at 74 calories for a small serving size, or 110 for a medium serving size. Oh, and the kids will never know it's not bad for them. They'll just know they like it!

Strawberry Milk Jelly
from Sophie Dahl of Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights

1 packet of strawberry flavored gelatin (1.4 ounces)
1/2 cup hot water
12 ounce can of evaporated milk

Garnish ideas: whipped cream, fresh strawberries, shaved chocolate, and fresh mint leaves

Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. When the mixture is cool (about 15 minutes), whisk in the evaporated milk until the mixture is thick and frothy. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least two hours. When ready to serve, top with garnish of choice.

Yield: six small or four medium servings.


  1. Ooo. It's like a fruit-flavored panna cotta. :)

  2. Yep - so lush! We called it mousse and even at school we learned to make it and it was called mousse there too( in UK)!
    Just so wish I could get evap here in India... (Even tho it was part of the British empire, too)

    1. Thanks for sharing! So interesting to know all the different names this one recipe has! Too bad you can't find any evaporated milk where you're at... it makes me wonder if it would turn out well with heavy cream instead?

  3. Maybe, where evap is unavailable, use heavy cream at reduced amount and whip? Andrea