Jelly is much more than some packet from the supermarket mixed with boiling water. Since the Middle Ages, we have been setting liquids in all their lustrous transparency by ingenious methods involving calves feet, veales, fish skins and many other agents. And we have set clear jellies. lusciously rich and creamy jellies, jellies flecked with gold and silver, and jellies embedded with fruit and other delicacies. A jelly is an optical prism that shows off and transforms its contents, and reflects and refracts the light around it.
Peter Brears tells the story of mainly sweet jellies in England, and discusses their changing place in meals over the centuries. He offers collectors a useful survey of jelly moulds their materials, their patterns and their makers and he gives cooks the opportunity to make the recipes that so delighted our ancestors. The text is illustrated by the author's own drawings, fine colour photographs in Peter Wilson, and reproductions from early catalogues of moulds. He takes his account up to the recent past, and gives recipes and instructions all well tried by himself for making creams, shapes, and other moulded desserts. There is, finally a really useful reperloire-cum-glossary of the names of jellies and their cognales in classic Anglo-French cuisine.
Prospect Books' series. The English Kitchen looks at dishes and categories of dishes and their place in the history of cookery in these islands as well as reprinting essential volumes of early culinary literature.
Previous volumes have included Trifle by Helen Saberi and Man Davidson: Soup by Eileen White: Early legelarian Recipes by Anne O?Connell: Rhubarbaria by Mary Prior: The Closet of Sir Kenelin Digby Opened: The Centaur's Kitchen by Patience Gray: and The Book of Marmalade by C. Anne Wilson.