Monday, August 20, 2012

Dried fruit crumble slice

The pastry for this delicioiusly moreish slice was the very first recipe I ever wrote down. Just as my mother copied it from my grandmother's old, worn recipe book, I copied it from my mother's – and in pencil, because I was too scared I would make a mistake in my brand new recipe book. While transferring the ingredient quantities I remember wondering if the crisp clean pages in mine would ever resemble the splattered and well-thumbed pages of the tomes my mother and grandmother cooked from. After typing out this recipe from my beloved little book, it makes my heart happy to say that it is stained with blobs of butter, the edges of the page are dog-eared and there are a few stray sugar granules resting in the spine. 
 A sign that a recipe book is truly loved.

Photography by Angie Lazaro

Dried fruit crumble slice
(serves 8-10)

450g mixed dried fruit
100g dried fig
1t ground allspice
1t ground cinnamon
100ml brandy
200g castor sugar
pinch salt

250g butter
¾ cup castor sugar
1 egg
1t baking powder
2¹/3 cups cake flour
²/3 cup corn flour

Place all the dried fruit and spices in a bowl and add the brandy. Add enough boiling water to cover the fruit and allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator. For the pastry, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg followed by the baking powder, flours and salt. Press ²/3 of the dough into a greased baking dish and refrigerate. Strain the fruit and reserve the liquid. Roughly chop the fruit and set aside. Place the liquid in a saucepan, add the sugar and heat until dissolved and the syrup is light golden brown. Moisten the fruit with a little syrup. Spoon the mixture onto the base and grate the remaining ¹/3 of the dough over the top. Bake at 170°C for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with piping hot custard.

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