Perfect just as they are or served with custard as a dessert, these fruit slices are wonderful.
Fruit Slice is a fairly traditional Scottish pasty which is filled with currants. The pastry should be shortcrust and has a thin layer of dried fruit between two layers. I have seen several recipes for these slices and have wanted to make them for some time.
They are also known as Fly Cemetery or Fly Graveyard, which is quite amusing, the currants supposedly being the flies.
Similar, in taste, perhaps to Eccles Cakes or Chorley Cakes these are actually a little simpler to make as you just make pastry roll it out and assemble.
For mine I used currants but also added some sultanas and some dried cranberries, just to give a little extra flavour. But I did chop those fruits up to be about the same size as the currants. I also ensured that I used predominantly currants to keep things quite authentic.
The recipe is actually very easy to make, and can be adapted to whatever sized pan you may have. Although my pan was 12 inches by 8 inches (30x20cm) but a slightly smaller or larger pan would work well too. The pastry can be made in a processor or by hand and the filling takes no time at all to assemble. So, given time to chill the dough after making it, everything can really be done in about an hour.
As for spices it seems to be usual to use mixed spice. However I am sure pumpkin spice, speculaas spice or any combination you might like to try, would be good too.
I was very pleased with how mine turned out. The pastry baked up so well and, together with that fruity filling, tasted so good.
Caramel Slice/Squares are another great recipe that delivers a big flavour.
for the pastry
- 300g(2 cups) plain flour (based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup)
- 150g(10 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 50g(7 tbsp) icing sugar
- 1 medium egg(large in USA), beaten
- 2-3 tbsp of cold water, if needed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 300g(2 cups) currants (or other dried fruits chopped, I used currants, sultanas and cranberries)
- 100g(1/2 cup) caster sugar, plus a little extra to sprinkle on top after baking
- 50g(3 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tsp mixed spice
A little milk or beaten egg to use as a seal and a wash.
- Place the flour, icing sugar and salt into a single bowl and mix to combine.
- Add the butter and rub between your fingers until you achieve a breadcrumb-like texture(I did this in the processor bowl of my immersion blender)
- Add the egg and mix in until the mixture begins to clump, adding a little water if needed to make this happen(only add a little water at a time so you don’t use too much)
- Squeeze the mixture in your hands to form a soft dough.
- Shape into a rectangle and cover with plastic wrap, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Grease(and line if you wish) a 12×8 inch (30x20cm) pan.
- In a large bowl mix the dried fruit, caster sugar and mixed spice together.
- Next add the butter and stir until everything is coated and thoroughly mixed.
- Cut the pastry dough into two equal pieces.
- Roll out the first piece, on a floured work surface, to a rectangle that fits the base of your pan.
- Place the rolled dough into the pan and gently press to entirely cover the base.
- Tip the fruit mixture onto the top of that dough and spread evenly, leaving a small gap all around the edge.
- Roll the second piece of dough to the same size as the first.
- Brush a little of the milk/egg wash around the edge of the dough which is in the pan.
- Place the second piece of dough onto the top of the fruit mixture and press all around the edge to seal it to the bottom layer of dough.
- Brush the top with milk/egg wash.
- Poke some holes into the surface of the dough, to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top has gone a nice golden brown colour.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
- Carefully tip out of the pan and turn over so the top is the right way up.
- Sprinkle with some caster sugar and then cut into equally sized slices.