The Bompas & Parr’s Jelly Revival  

I’m happy to hear that the often neglected simple jelly is the celebrated food sensation of the moment. Jelly’s the latest “it food.” I’ve always loved jellies. In my childhood memories they stand-out as treats of our home cooking. My mother’s favourite was Bing Cherry Mould, which was a dark purple concoction of black cherries in jelly set in a ring with sweetened cream cheese in the centre. Yum! We also had a luncheon ritual of salad jellies like shredded carrots and celery in a ring filled with lettuce and creamy vinaigrette.

The humble and inexpensive jelly is now the wow factor at many a swank dinner party. Jellies were the surprise hits of London Fashion Week, healthy and slim-line being two of the key concerns for fashionistas. The addition of a splash of Grey Goose Vodka was de rigeur for the beau monde.

Jelly experts, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, of Bompas & Parr, are spearheading the jelly phenomenon. “It’s a revival of traditional British cooking,” boasts Bompas. “There are two things that the British are better at than the Freanch: roasting and jelly-making. With the return of childhood classics like macaroni and cheese, along comes our birthday party classic: jelly and custard.”

Tesco has introduced 15 ready-made flavours, including raspberry, mixed berry and Mandarin. M&S are close behind with three “Terribly Clever Jellies” that come in a jar. Look for Bompas and Parr’s Buckingham Palace mould on sale at Selfridges to thrill your guests.

Recipes for new jellies abound. Some combine seasonal fruits with herbs. Skye Gynagell, former food writer for Vogue, boils blackcurrants with sugar, water and lemon verbena for a ruby-red jelly which looks and delights in an old-fashioned way with crème anglais.

The possibilities are endless, and whether shaped like Marie Antoinette’s breast or the façade of Buckingham Palace, it’s a delicate and delicious dessert.

Welcome back, jelly!

— Mrs M

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