DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

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13 December 2011

Fruit slices - a quick and easy sweet treat

Sweet slices used to be very popular in Australia. A sandwich or base of pastry with a filling, sometimes fruit or custard, sometimes something more exotic. There was a time when many Australian social gatherings featured a variety of slices and cakes and everyone had their favourite recipe. But over the years slices have gone out of fashion. You still see them at some local and many country bakeries and bakers still pride themselves on their slices. Recently I was pleased to see Fiona at Inner Pickle blog feature a slice every Wednesday. She even wrote about my favourite slice - the coconut. It's a mixture of coconut topping with raspberry jam on a pastry base. Mmmmm. If you're looking for slice recipes go no further than Inner Pickle for fine recipes and excellent photos.

I make slices here occasionally and one of the reasons I'm writing about them today is that they're so easy to make and are a good way of using stockpile items - such as canned fruit. Hanno's favourite slice is my canned pineapple slice. These slices are great to have on hand over the holiday season because they're quick and easy to make and everyone loves them. If you're having relatives or friends visiting over the Christmas holidays, bake one of these slices and watch people line up for more.

The basic pastry for a slice is so easy to make and even if you're not a great pastry cook, this one will soon be added to your favourites. It's also a good base for cheesecake if you don't want to buy biscuits for a biscuit base.

SLICE PASTRY - enough for two slabs of pastry. If you're making a slice with no top, use half these quantities.
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 155 grams (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • small amount cold water
Place flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and blitz until the butter is incorporated into the flour and sugar (20 seconds). Add the egg and process for 10 seconds. You want the flour mixture to look dry but when you take some in your hand, it presses together and doesn't fall apart. If it's too dry to do that, add a teaspoon of cold water and try again. When the pastry stays together in a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and sit it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Press the pastry down with your fingers. You can go over it with the base of a glass if you want to even it out. I never do, this side of the base will be covered with filling.
Use enough flour on your bench and rolling pin so the pastry doesn't stick, but don't overdo the flour. Too much at this stage will make the pastry tough.
 I cut this pastry top in two so it was easier to place. The join was smoothed over with a sharp knife. Cut the edges off the pastry if it's too big for the baking tin.
I used last year's preserved peaches for this slice. I wanted to use them before we started buying this season's fruit. I didn't add cornflour to this filling and it's just a bit too moist. It tasted good though.
 The baked slice. You can just see where I joined the two pastry pieces together.

When you're ready to cook the slice, divide the pastry in two and put half in the base of a greased slice tin (35cm long x 20 cm wide x 4 cm deep) that is lined with baking paper. Press the pastry in with your fingers and make sure it's firm. Add the filling, then roll out the remaining pastry dough and carefully place it on the top of the filling. I often cut the top in two, it's easier to handle. This party is short so it has a tendency to crumble. The trick is to roll it out then gently roll it around the rolling pin to place it on the slice.

SLICE FILLINGS
Here are two quick and easy fillings that do well in slices and pies. If you're looking for more filling recipes, just click on the Inner Pickle link above.

Pineapple slice
PINEAPPLE SLICE FILLING
Large tin of pineapple pieces, including the juice
2 level tablespoons of cornflour

Place the pineapple pieces with juice into a saucepan. Remove about ¼ cup of the juice and mix it with the cornflour in a cup. Turn on the heat, mix the cornflour into the pineapples pieces and stir until the mixture thickens, then take off the heat and cool down a little.  

You could use any canned fruit you had on hand and just as with the pineapple filling, use the juice to mix in with the cornflour. Heat the fruit, add the cornflour and thicken, then cool.

QUICK CHEESECAKE FILLING - doesn't need cooking, will set in the fridge
375g soft cream cheese (13 oz)
1 tin condensed milk - my recipe for homemade is here
juice of 2 lemons

Mix the cream cheese with a hand beater until it's smooth. Add the condensed milk and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour over an already cooked base.  Add some berry fruit for garnish - sliced strawberries or whole blueberries, and put in the fridge for about four hours,  or overnight, to set.


24 comments:

  1. Pastry has always intimidated me, but seeing you walk through it step by step, I think I might be able to do it! Thanks :)
    -Jaime

    P.S. Are you coming along okay this week after the recent tragic henhouse events?

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  2. Rhonda, Yummo! Slices are my favourite thing, I like them moe than cake! One of my favourites is fruity oat slice, it is also yummo as a dessert with ice cream.
    1 1/2 cups plain flour
    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup dessicated coconut
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    185g butter, melted
    1 400g can pie apple
    extra teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 180degrees.
    Grease a slice tray (30x20 shallow tin) and line with baking paper.
    Put flour, oats sugar coconut and cinnamon in a bowl mix together.
    Make a well in the centre and add melted butter.
    Mix till moist and combined.
    Firmly press 2/3 of the mix into the tin,
    Spread the apple over the top as evenly as possible.
    With your hand crumble the rest of the mix over the top of the apple.
    Bake for 30 minutes till golden. Watch for burning, I have to turn my oven down for the last 8minutes or so.
    Cool, then cut into squares or fingers.
    This is good with any tinned fruit you like. I might try it with your pineapple filling!
    Hope all is well there, it is so hot and sultry up here, very unpleasant!Regards, Julia in Bowen

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  3. Hello Jaime, I'm pleased you might try the pastry. It's one of those things that seem daunting but just doing it once or twice will show you it just requires a good recipe and understanding the technique.

    We're fine. Things are what they are and we accept that. We'll be driving into Brisbane on Thursday to pick up some new chicks and a couple of hens. I'll take photos and write about it next week. Thank you for your concern, love.

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  4. Hello Julia, it's so good to hear from you again. I really like the sound of your slice. I'm going to try it. Thank you. We're having a slow start to summer here with rain and a few cool nights. I do not like the weather up north and I know how unpleasant it is. I hope you find a way to stay cool. I send my warmest wishes for a lovely Christmas for you and your family.

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  5. How timely. I was just looking at making a slice with some of the lovely stone fruit in season at the moment. I do like the sound of the pineapple slice though. This has brought back old memories. Many years ago i did buy a pineapple slice at a bakery and I can still remember the taste today. Thank you Rhonda, I might have to give this a try out. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Maa

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  6. We will have peaches ripening soon so a peach slice will be happening. I think some cinnamon and cloves or allspice should improve the flavour as peaches can be a bit bland sometimes. Thanks for the easy pastry recipe.
    Cheers,
    Robyn

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  7. Hi Rhonda, thanks for reminding me about the pastry base for a slice...I seem to have gotten in a rut using a biscuit base....My son loves making plain old Lemon Slice...only one problem with that, is he usually eats most of it...lol

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  8. Rhonda, that looks delicious. I was unfamiliar with the term, "slice" and now I am going to have to try to bake one up!

    I am drinking a cup of coffee as I write this, and I would sure like to grab a bite of that pineapple slice to go with it. :)

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  9. Oh my goodness! Something new to try and I'm sure my family won't mind a bit! :)

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  10. we must be mind readers Rhonda, l made this slice with apples last night, we loved it had it with ice cream. yum.

    cheers Gail

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  11. Hi Rhonda. That pineapple slice brought back heaps of memories for us. My grandparents (lived in Buderim) always brought us fresh pineapples when they visited us in Brisbane and we 'lived' on pineapple tarts. Basically the same recipe as yours but sometimes with passionfruit added and instead of a pastry top, covered in whipped cream when cooled. My mouth's watering thinking about it. Not too sweet and a good way to use up fruit.

    Anne xx

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  12. Oooh your slices look ever so delish Rhonda :]

    Here is my "Berry Nice Slice" - I think you will all love it as much as we do!

    http://theserendipitycafe.blogspot.com/2011/09/berry-nice-slice.html

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  13. Looks delicious! I use a similar recipe with fresh apples, like for a pie. Slice the apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, cover and bake. Then drizzle an icing sugar, vanilla and milk frosting over top. Yum!! I'll have to try this one out with the tree planters!
    http://littleshackonthehill.blogspot.com/

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  14. I'm hungry now. Only got cornflakes in the cupboard!

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  15. Hi Rhonda thanks for this recipe we have some apricots left over from last year and this recipe is just what i need to use them up!
    I have a folder in the kitchen which is filling up with recipes, many are from your blog! Cheers!

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  16. Oh Rhonda, my mouth is watering... must make slices! LOL

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  17. The pineapple slice looks so yummy! I'm definitely going to try that one.

    Question: I wonder, is cornflour what we call corn starch in the US?

    Thanks.

    Rosemary
    Oregon, USA

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  18. Ha! My grandmother made this with
    christmas mince - fly cemetaries we used to call them :) Absolutely delish. I must make that one again and pass on the tradition.....

    viv in nz

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  19. Hi Rhonda, I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas too. We are having a simple family one here. Will be in your neck of the woods on Friday and Saturday visiting friends in Mapleton. Should I pack a cardigan if the nights are still cool? So hard to imagine that at the moment! Julia in Bowen

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  20. Rosemary, yes, corn starch and cornflour are the same.

    Julia, I'd pack a light cardy for the nights. Today was hot and it's getting humid but there is more rain predicted so the temps may go down again.

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  21. That peach slice photo looks so vibrant and yummy. I love a good slice and if they contain fruit, then even more so.

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  22. I know these are 'slices' - but I'm picturing this in a cupcake paper, with the pastry pressed into the bottom, filling, and either a crumble or a circle of pastry on top. Though one would clearly not be enough.

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  23. It is hard to tell from the pictures what size your baking pan is. How large should the pastry be when you roll it out?

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  24. Oops! I just reread the post and saw the size.

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