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Ingrid’s Spiced plum and beetroot jelly

On a recent trip to Hull in North East Yorkshire to visit my in-laws, a big family get-together was held. Everyone pitched in with the food, but the standout dish for me, the one I couldn’t take my eyes off, was my mother-in-law Maureen’s spectacular raspberry beetroot jelly. It was made even better by the linoleum tablecloth it was placed on. It took me right back to my childhood, although we always had sweet not savoury jelly on our table. I had my camera out clicking away trying to snap a photo that showed all the delicious beetroot inside. Her jelly was stunningly simple. She used a packet of raspberry jelly crystals, boiling water, white wine vinegar and chopped beetroot. I couldn’t wait to try it out. My mum, Val, remembers jelly well. It was pretty much the dessert of choice in her family, served with fresh fruit in summer and her father’s stewed fruit in winter. And who can’t remember licking your finger and dipping it into the jelly crystal box until your lips were stained. When I told mum I was going to create a jelly and needed a mould, whom did she call but the local Tupperware lady – another Kiwi institution! She was on our doorstep, mould in hand 15 minutes later.

Ingrid’s Spiced plum and beetroot jelly
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Allow at least 4 hours for setting. Serve jelly on a platter with cold meats, cheeses, gherkins and crackers.
Recipe type: Jelly
Serves: 20

What you need
  • 5.5 cup jelly mould
  • 1 kilogram beetroot (6 medium-sized)
  • 1x 850 gram-can black doris plums, stoned, drained and juice reserved
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons gelatine powder

How to make
  1. Remove beetroot leaves and stems, leaving about 2cm of the stems attached. Under cold water wash off any dirt, but leave the skins on.
  2. Add beets to a large pot of boiling water. Simmer for 30 minutes until just tender. Use a skewer to test. Drain and allow to cool. Remove skin and dice.
  3. In a medium saucepan add the plum juice, ¾ cup water, spices and vinegar and bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Strain the juice to remove spices. Add gelatine powder to the juice and whisk to dissolve.
  5. Add drained plums to the bottom of the jelly mould. Pack with the diced beetroot, filling the mould.
  6. Pour spiced plum juice into the mould, filling liquid to the top.
  7. Place in fridge for at least 4 hours or until set. Keep cool until ready to serve.
  8. To serve, run the jelly mould under warm water for a minute, place a plate on top of the mould and invert to release.

This recipe is currently featured in the latest issue of Real Magazine.

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