Our town had a funeral this week. This is the sort of funeral I don’t mind – an old lady, well-loved, dying of old age after a full life. Country funerals are always well attended, and country people are big eaters, so there needs to be plenty of food at the wake, especially for the folk who have travelled. I whipped up a couple of batches of this easy slice to take along – it’s a very old Australian recipe, still popular today.
The base is moist, a little heavier than cake, and then there is a layer of jam, and a good crunchy, sweet coconut topping. If you use gluten-free flour the base turns out a little firmer.
Because the lady who passed had been a long-standing member of our branch of the CWA (Country Women’s Association) we did the catering, and the wake was held at our local RSL hall.
Catering was a simple affair – a plenitude of home-made cakes, slices and biscuits, freshly made sandwiches, and several gallons of excellent tea and rather average instant coffee.
I use this slice recipe often when I’m expecting a crowd. It packs well if we are out mustering, and it keeps well too, not that I ever seem to have any over. It will also freeze nicely. It can be made with gluten-free flour too, and still tastes fine.
When we were kids it was a favourite in our school lunch-box.
There is something very comforting about a cup of tea, a little bite of tasty sustenance, and a good long chat with friends.
Coconut and Jam Slice
Note – the pictures show a double batch so don’t panic if your quantities don’t look like the photographs!
Ingredients for the Base: 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour (gluten-free is fine), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg
Method: Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla to a cream, add beaten egg and then fold through flour until the mixture forms a firm base. Press into a baking-paper lined 28cm x 18cm slice tin.
Topping: 1/2 cup of raspberry jam (it’s fine to use any flavour jam on hand – favourites of mine are apricot and plum), 1 cup dessicated coconut, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg.
Method: Spread the jam thinly over the base. I ended up using a jar of my Mum’s strawberry jam, as it was the only flavour left in my pantry besides marmalade (from prior experimentation not a great combination). PS. Great jam, Mum! xx
Then mix the beaten egg, coconut and sugar together in a bowl until moist and well combined.
Carefully spread the coconut topping over the jam layer, making sure you take it right to the edges. Press down lightly with a wet hand or the back of a wet spoon.
Bake in a moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven) for 25 minutes until golden brown. Check the topping in the last few minutes in case you need to adjust your cooking time. It should look like the picture below. BTW, this makes a wonderful dessert served hot with ice-cream or cream if you have visitors and few ingredients to hand.
Cool in the tin and then cut into squares and store in an air-tight container. Here are the left-over edges and dodgy pieces (poor shapes or a bit broken) I deemed unsuitable for serving (the CWA has standards, thank you very much!) that stayed in the home biscuit tin for us plebs to eat. I quite like the edges. They are crunchy and chewy where the jam bubbles up… Enjoy! ♥