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Junket: how to enjoy this old-fashioned dessert

How to make junket
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junket.

Remember junket? If you’re over a certain age, you probably have fond memories of enjoying this simple dessert as you grew up.

Whether you’re re-discovering this old-fashioned treat or are new to the joys of junket, below you’ll find everything you need to know about this interesting dessert with a funny name – including how to make and enjoy it.

junket dessert.

What is junket dessert?

Junket is a traditional, old-fashioned dessert “of sweetened flavoured milk set with rennet.”

It’s been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and is also known a “curds and whey” – which was famously eaten by Miss Muffet in the nursery rhyme. That rhyme dates back to the 16th century!

What is rennet?

Rennet is a complex set of enzymes that causes milk to curdle. While it typically comes from the stomchs of animals as a byproduct of meat production, it is also found in plants and vegetarian rennet is available.

What are junket tablets?

Junket tablets contain rennet and can be dissolved and added to milk to make junket dessert.

Junket tablets became commercially available in Australia in 1886.

junket tablets.

Where do you buy junket tablets?

Junket tablets can be purchased from supermarkets.

You can usually find them near the jelly and pudding mixes.

What are junket tablets used for?

Apart from making desserts and puddings, you can use junket tablets to make ice-cream.

Ingredients for Junket

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 1 junket tablet
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 500 ml milk

To make sweetened junket, you’ll also need:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or another flavouring)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar.

How to make junket with tablets

Dissolve junket tablet

Place the junket tablet in the tablespoon of water and set aside to dissolve (see picture 1 below).

Warm the milk

Heat the milk gently (in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top) until it’s body temperature – it should feel neither warm or cool at this point (see picture 2 below).

Add the vanilla extract and sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve (see pictures 3 and 4 below).

making junket.

Add junket tablet to milk

Stir the junket or swirl it around to check it has dissolved and then add to the milk mixture (see picture 5).

Stir for 5 seconds only and then pour the mixture into the ramekins (see pictures 6 and 7).

making junket.

Allow to sit on the bench for about 30 minutes. The junket should set during this time and will be similar to partially set jelly.

Once set, move the ramekins to the fridge to chill before serving. The junket will firm up a little more as it chills.

TIP 1: Do not move the ramekins during the setting process as this may prevent it from setting properly.

TIP 2: If adding a spice such as nutmeg or cinnamon, add before placing in the fridge to chill (see picture 8, above). If adding stewed fruit or something similar, add just before serving.

How to enjoy junket

There are so many ways to enjoy junket, and you can easily vary the recipe by:

  • adding another flavouring instead of the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract – you could try strawberry, lemon or almond essence
  • adding more or less sugar.

Here are some more ideas from the days when junket was more popular:

more junket variation ideas

From Launceston’s Saturday Evening Express, March 1929 (top) and The Queenslander, April 1937 (bottom).

Junket a la Melba certainly sounds fancy! I’m yet to try it. If you do, let me know how it turns out in the comments below.

More ideas for getting creative with toppings and accompaniments include serving with fresh berries or adding a generous sprinkling of MILO – they both take junket to a whole new place.

junket served with berries.
junket with milo.

If you love the recipe, please leave a rating or comment below. Thanks! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you love junket, you might also like Creme Caramel, Broken Glass Jelly, Coconut Custard or Bread and Butter Pudding.

junket.

Junket

How to make junket
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Australian, British, Dutch, New Zealand
Keyword: junket
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Setting time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 115kcal

Equipment

  • 4 ramekin dishes or small bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 junket tablet
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or another flavouring) (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • nutmeg, cinnamon or another topping (optional)

Instructions

  • Place the junket tablet in the tablespoon of water and set aside to dissolve.
  • Heat the milk gently (in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top) until it's body temperature – it should feel neither warm or cool at this point.
  • Add the vanilla extract and sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve.
  • Stir the junket or swirl it around to check it has dissolved and then add to the milk mixture. Stir for 5 seconds only and then pour the mixture into the ramekins.
  • Do not move the ramekins. Allow to sit on the bench for about 30 minutes. The junket should set during this time and will be similar to partially set jelly.
  • If adding nutmeg or cinnamon, sprinkle over junket before placing in fridge.
  • Once set, move the ramekins to the fridge to chill before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 195mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 0.01mg

Recipe Rating




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Jan

Saturday 21st of October 2023

Hi Libby when you click on the link for the choc chip biscuits it comes up with the junket recipe. Just letting you know 😀

Libby Hakim

Monday 23rd of October 2023

oops! Thanks for letting me know, Jan. Here's the choc chip cookie recipe: https://www.cookingwithnanaling.com/toll-house-cookies/

Carolyn

Sunday 15th of October 2023

I too enjoyed your memories Jan. I hated Junket but in reflection I thought that it was because we always had it served warm but I see you had it the same way, it mustv'e been a great go to for calcium too. I will have to go and investigate the tablets ot Renco as Mum used.

Jan

Sunday 15th of October 2023

@Carolyn, Just a note Carolyn that we ate junket warm because we didn't have a fridge or ice chest out in the country. And it needed to start off warm to set and it was still warm when we ate it before it had a chance to 'go off'. If we didn't want to eat it, we got nothing and one of our siblings would get two serves.

Pam

Friday 13th of October 2023

Can JUNKET tablet be replaced??? What cab we use instead

Libby Hakim

Saturday 14th of October 2023

Hi Pam - you can also use liquid rennet which is available at some health food and specialty stores. Good luck!

Jan

Friday 13th of October 2023

That takes me back. Over 70 years ago, living on farm with one or two cows 'in milk' at any time, junket was one of my mother's 'go to' recipes. When Dad brought in the bucket of full cream milk fresh from the cow, she would have the dissolved junket tablet ready divided amongst 6 squat glasses sitting on the hob of our 'Metters No. 2' wood-burning stove and then just pour the warm milk in and stir. Instant breakfast or dessert for tea, depending on time of day. It was also what we had when we were sick, especially if we had a sore throat.

Our junket tablets were coloured (and reputedly flavoured but not noticeably) so we never had with any additions, and certainly not with sugar or topping! We ate it warm with a spoon as soon as it set, or stirred to a slush if we wanted to be messy!

I was interested to see the recipes for alternatives - but Mum didn't have time for such extras.

Libby Hakim

Saturday 14th of October 2023

Hi Jan. Thank you so much for adding all these memories. You really took me back 70 years with you! My Dad also remembered his mum making pink junket. I'll have to investigate whether you can still buy the coloured tablets. Thanks again for sharing your memories. Libby x

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