Easy Lemon Slice Recipe

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“There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.” 
~ E.A. Bucchianeri

As promised, here is the first recipe in my ‘Slice Extravaganza’ series – the brainchild of my mother, who must be acknowledge for her great generosity in lending me the Family Recipe Book from which this recipe is taken. Thanks, Mum!

This is a delightful slice – a crispy, crunchy but delicate base with a tangy lemon topping.  Perfect with a morning coffee or an afternoon cup of tea.

It’s also a confidence-building recipe for kitchen beginners and young cooks.

Base Ingredients:

1 x cup of self raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1 x cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup of lightly packed soft brown sugar, 1/2 cup (4 oz or 125 grams) melted butter

*Note – for vegans, use a vegetable butter substitute.  If you’re gluten intolerant, this works fine with a commercial gluten-free flour mix.

Method:

Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a 28cm x 18cm (9 inch by 13 inch) slice tin with some baking paper.

Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and then mix through the melted butter.  The mixture should be moist and crumbly.

base mixture

Press the mixture lightly into the tin. DO NOT PRESS DOWN HEAVILY!

base pressed into tin

Place your slice into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown colour.

Lemon Icing Ingredients: (Frosting for you USA folk!)

1 and 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar mixture (confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar),1 x tablespoon of soft butter, finely grated zest of one lemon, 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Additional coconut to sprinkle on top. (Shredded coconut is lovely for this!)

Method:

Mix the ingredients together with enough of the lemon juice to make a smooth, creamy consistency.

Spread the icing mixture over the slice while it is still warm. Sprinkle coconut over the warm icing and leave to cool in tin. DO resist cutting before it cools, or you will end up with a crumbly mess!

Dollop of icing

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Cut into squares to serve, and store in an airtight container.  I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s delicious!

ready to eat baking

Cherry Ripe Slice Recipe

We’ve got a party to go to on the weekend – a neighbour’s son is turning eighteen! Like most parties in the country, people will be coming from near and far, and there will be quite a crowd to feed. I’m taking along a huge tray of of these delicious Cherry Ripe Slices and another big tray of my favourite Chocolate Brownies ( click here for the Brownie recipe  – it’s easy and fabulously yum, and I updated it yesterday for American measurements as well!)  .

The base of the Cherry Ripe Slice is a tasty chocolate biscuit, topped with a rich sweet coconut and cherry layer, finished with a drizzle of dark chocolate. It keeps very well, and also makes a lovely gift. It can also be made gluten-free very easily and still tastes heavenly.

Ingredients (American equivalents in brackets):

Base: 1 and 1/4 cups self raising flour ( or 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour with 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder) * Substitute your favourite gluten-free flour here if you have an intolerance – it works fine in this recipe, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 3/4 cup dessicated coconut, 1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar), 125g butter (1 stick or 4 ounces of butter), 1 egg

Cherry Layer: 2 and 1/2 cups of coconut, 200g glace cherries, quartered (7 ounces of glace cherries or 1 cup glace cherries, quartered), 1 x 395gram tin of sweetened condensed milk

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Your choice, dark or milk.  You’ll need between 150g to 200g (3/4 to one cup, or 7 ounces) melted.

I also make this in paper cups for easy individual serves.  I’ll show you both ways today!

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (moderate or 355F), and line a 20cm x 30cm (8 inch by 12 inch) slice tin with non-stick paper, or grease it well. You may also use a muffin tin or similar and line with paper cups. (*If you are being fancy-schmancy, make this in a spring-form flan dish, and serve in small wedges as your next dinner party dessert!)

Melt butter and cool slightly.  Beat egg well.  Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, then stir through the butter and egg until well combined.  Press into the slice tin, or push a spoonful of the mix into each individual cup and press down with fingers to form a base.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes – check to see that it is firm and cooked through.  If not give it another five minutes.

Remove from oven but leave the oven on.  Cool slice for five minutes.

While the slice is baking, mix the topping ingredients together in a bowl.  Press over the chocolate biscuit layer and return to over for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Melt chocolate and drizzle over top. Don’t worry too much about how it looks, let it be homespun and groovy. (If you are a total chocolate fiend, melt enough to spread a thick layer over the entire slice, adding a spoonful of vegetable oil or butter to stop it cracking when you cut it. This is divine but be warned, it is also very rich!) When chocolate has set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.

This goes very well with coffee, tea or a glass of milk. It also makes a special dessert when served with some whipped cream, pouring cream, or a good vanilla ice-cream. ♥

Coconut and Jam Slice Recipe & Country Funerals

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! ♥