If you grew up in Australia or New Zealand post-World War II, you’ll likely be very familiar with the frothy mousse-like confection called Flummery.
It bears no resemblance at all to old English flummery, other than the fact that gelatine is used, so how the name got adopted is anyone’s guess. All I know is that, for whatever reason, it seems to have been adopted by Australasians after the war, perhaps as a cheap alternative to mousse.
So what is flummery? It’s basically evaporated milk whipped up and combined with almost set jelly, hence the alternative name of Jelly Whip. It’s as light as air and, as such, is a delightfully light and frothy way to end a summer meal. The flavour comes from the jelly itself, so it’s best to use as strong a jelly flavour as possible – raspberry, strawberry, lemon and lime are common choices.
We grew up on the stuff and, for us, it was always a special treat. Of course, over time, fancier desserts took their place and our palates grew more sophisticated. Not surprisingly, when you try flummery again especially as an adult, it’s possible you might find it a touch bland. That said, you can easily inject it with more flavour. For instance, you can add a couple of tablespoons of juice or concentrated cordial in with the jelly when you make it. Or, for that matter, a couple of tablespoons of freeze dried fruit powder.
And, if you want to raise the bar and elevate it from a simple flummery, you can layer it with jelly (as I have here), or add some diced fruit into the jelly (though don’t add pineapple, kiwifruit or papaya – the enzymes stop the jelly from setting).
Flummery Jelly Whip
For the jelly: (optional)
- 3 oz packet jelly crystals (I used raspberry)
- 2 cups boiling water
For the flummery (jelly whip):
- 3 oz packet jelly crystals (I used raspberry))
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp freeze-dried fruit powder, juice or cordial (to add in with the boiling water)
- 12.6 oz chilled* evaporated milk (must be full-fat to whip properly)
For the jelly: (Optional)
- Make up the jelly by pouring 2 cups boiling water over jelly crystals, stir until crystals have dissolved, let it cool down, then pour into one large serving dish (mine is 3 litres/3 quarts) or several individual dishes and refrigerate to set. This can be prepared the day before serving.
For the flummery (jelly whip):
- Make up a jelly by pouring 1 cup boiling water over jelly crystals (if adding cordial or juice, add it along with the water; if adding fruit powder, add it to the jelly crystals before adding the water), stir until crystals have dissolved, and let it cool to a runny set stage (i.e. it's just starting to set, but is not yet firm).
- Add the chilled evaporated milk to an electric mixer (you can beat it by hand if you prefer, but you won't get the same volume) and whip for about 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and frothy (it should triple in volume so make sure your bowl is large enough).
- Reduce the whipping speed and slowly add the semi-set jelly into the milk mixture, then increase whipping speed and beat for a minute or two to combine.**
- Pour the mixture over top of the dish/es of set jelly. Put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Decorate with whipped cream and serve on its own or with fruit.
**Occasionally, if the jelly isn’t fully incorporated, you might find that the mixture separates into two layers as it chills, with the jelly sinking to the bottom. If it happens, don’t worry – it actually looks attractive and is perfectly delicious.