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Friday, August 26, 2011

Jam slice....two ways!

I've always liked a humble jam slice, with a crumbly base and gooey coconut-jam-y topping, but I thought I'd get a little more creative and try the basic recipe with different flavours. Both were really quite good!

I'll write down the basic method to get the base and then separate the two types from there! Please note, I only took photos for the first type of slice, so the little flecks through the mixture, is lavender sugar!

The ingredients to make the basic slice are as follows:
125g butter
1/3 cup of sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg yolk

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (350F).

2. Combine butter, sugar, flour and baking powder in a food processor (which I do not have, I have this mini chopper, which actually did a good enough job because the quantity is small enough).

3. Process  until well combined

4. Add the egg yolk and continue to process until the mixture forms a soft dough

5. Knead the dough for a minute or so to bring it all together

6. Press the dough into a 20cm x 30cm tin that is lined with non-stick baking paper (in the UK, use parchment paper as the non-stick paper here seems to be kind of sticky!!). When you have spread the dough evenly, bake for 12-15 minutes until the base is golden brown. Allow to cool and then choose one of the following two options:

Slice 1: Lavender Slice

I had used Lavender sugar throughout this recipe, so the base will have a slight lavender flavour to start with. I bought a salad from a little French/Italian store up the road and had to spend a certain amount to put it on my card, so purchased a jar of Lavender Fleurs jam! I was very keen to put it to use!! 

So, once the slice base has cooled, spread the lavender jam over the base. Then mix together 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1 egg and 1 cup of coconut. Sprinkle this over the jam. Bake for another 25 minutes or until golden. 

Enjoy this purple-tasting treat with a nice cup of tea on a pleasant summery afternoon!

Slice 2: Lemon Curd

I've always been curious about lemon curd but never once have I bought it, until one week ago! I was enjoying myself immensely browsing the aisles of Waitrose with nothing else on the agenda for the afternoon but shopping! I saw the various types of lemon curd and thought, well everyone raves about the stuff, may as well give it a go. I then spent a few days looking at it and wondering how best to try it out, and then remembered the success of the lavender slice, so thought, eh, what have I got to lose! 

So, as with the previous method, wait for the cooked base to cool. Then, all you do is spread lemon curd over the base, and sprinkle with blanched almonds. Bake for 20 minutes or so until the nuts have browned. That's as simple as it was! The lemon curd was quite an intense flavour, but the almonds worked perfectly with it. I took it over to Ash and Kara's one night. Pete ate most of the batch, closely followed by Kara and Ash, well he doesn't like lemon, which is why there was a batch to be enjoyed by Pete and Kara in the first place, but he said that "If I was someone who liked lemon, that'd be really quite good...but I don't like lemon". 

Well we all do! (the pic doesn't do it justice, it was a lot more moist and fluffy, silly camera angle!)

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