Easy Lemon Slice Recipe

2013-04-16 15.30.59

“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

2013-04-16 14.14.20

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

ready to eat baking

Healthy Apple Crumble Recipe

Apple crumble has been a family favourite in our house for years. Now Autumn has arrived in Australia all the new season apples leave us spoilt for choice, and they taste positively delicious baked into a dessert.

I’ve modified this recipe so that it is gluten-free, sugar-free and so that it can also be dairy free or vegan. It’s quick to make, rich in fibre, and tastes wonderful as a hot or cold dessert, and will even double as breakfast!

The following recipe gives one serve, which I bake in a small ramekin. For more people just keep increasing the quantity, and use a larger baking dish.

Ingredients for the apple base:

One apple (today I’m using Pink Lady apples – very creamy and sweet and they keep a nice firm texture when cooked. I won’t use any sugar or sweetener as the fruit is ripe and sweet already, but a tart apple like a granny smith may need a little sweetening for most palates), six dates (optional – omit if you have diabetes or a sugar issue), 1/3 cup of water, half to one teaspoon stevia if needed (you could also use maple syrup, honey or rice syrup), a shake of powdered ginger or allspice.

Method:

Peel and core apple and chop into small pieces.

Add apple to saucepan with water and sweetener if the apple is tart, and turn to medium heat. After a minute or two add the chopped dates if you are using them.  Add a little ginger or allspice to season.

Stir often over medium heat until the liquid cooks off and the apple has changed colour.

Spoon into a ramekin or small dish, (or enjoy on its own as stewed fruit – great with yoghurt, on porridge or cereal, or even over ice-cream).

Crumble topping ingredients:

One tablespoon dessicated coconut, one tablespoon mixed seeds (optional but great for protein and fibre), one tablespoon rolled oats (if you’re celiac you may want to use a tablespoon of either gluten-free breadcrumbs, puffed rice/millet/buckwheat or a good gluten-free cereal), a little sweetener of your choice if you wish, one teaspoon of butter, vegan/vegetarian butter substitute or if you are mad on coconut like me, one teaspoon of coconut oil or cream.

The seed mix I use is called Kapai Puku. It’s available online but not everywhere – there’s a good post about it, and how you can make your own substitute here.

Method:

Rub crumble ingredients together with your fingers so that it becomes clumpy. (Very un-technical term – sorry!)

Sprinkle over apple mixture.

Bake in moderate oven until the top browns – around ten minutes.

Eat with great gusto – can be served with yoghurt, coconut cream, cream or ice-cream. Or enjoy it on its own. Comfort food at its finest.