Granny Ellice’s Jam Drops

Apologies for the hiatus guys, I blame Youtube. And Criminal Minds reruns.

Anyway, if you’ve read my “About Me” page you will have seen me mention my great grandmother Ellice Handy and the cookbook she wrote. For a while now I’ve been wanting to start blog series testing, updating and photographing her recipes, but instead, haven’t done any form of blogging for almost 2 weeks now. I’ve decided to break the dry spell with one of the simpler recipes from her book, jam drops.

In later editions of My Favourite Recipes, Granny Ellice (as she is known to the family) credited a Sophia Blackmore with this recipe. Sophia Blackmore was an Australian missionary who arrived in Singapore in 1888. She was the founder of the Methodist Girl’s School (of which Ellice Handy was a student and later the principal) and also Fairfield Methodist School (where my paternal grandmother was a teacher).

The legacy of the Methodist Girl’s School (MGS) is a great one. I don’t think there is anyone in Singapore who does not know someone who attended the school. In my family (save myself, born and bred in Britain), MGS is a school which is held close to the heart and it is interesting to know that this family’s MGS tradition can be traced back so many generations.

Anyway, without my further ado, a recipe for ridiculously simple and moreish jam drops, perfect with a cuppa….

Ingredients: (makes 32)

30g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
140g self raising flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 160c.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  4. Add the flour and mix until a soft dough forms.
  5. On two greased baking tray divide the dough into 32 balls. Using your hands flatten each ball slightly and with a finger make a depression in the centre of the ball, make it as deep as you can without making a hole in the bottom.
  6. Fill each depression with jam (any flavour you like), be careful not to overfill the jam drops (fill to at least 1mm below the top of the depression).
  7. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until the dough is cooked and slightly coloured.

Some changes from the original recipe:

– I added 10g more butter to give a richer dough.
– these jam drops are half the size of Granny Ellice’s, I guess I just prefer things to be a bit daintier!
– in the original the jam is encased in dough, these are open-faced purely for aesthetic reasons.

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