Happy Christmas eve!
I thought if I waited much longer to post this recipe it would quickly become irrelevant - after all who eats Christmas fruit mince after Christmas? The answer is everyone should! Fruit mince goes super on special after Christmas! ALL the slice! ALL the time!
In the spirit of Christmas and all that forgiveness and friendship and crap, I have decided to share with you a special talent of mine that I have been bringing into practice over the recent weeks.
I have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career.
A career of serially dating everyone related to food in Auckland, visual art and not to mention people at my work prior to me starting there.
Now the set of skills I possess is the ability to be legitimate friends with these young men after the expiration date of said engagement. After all, New Zealand is too small to be angry at all the straight male foodie photographing dairy co-op suits around. I wouldn't want bad relationships coming back to bite me in the bum either.
How does one come to develop such a skill set? Let me tell you young friends, with the aid of a food related metaphor . . .
Now the first ingredient is time. This time will be proportionate to the amount of time you spent together. That could be weeks or months. It is also equal to the same amount of time that it takes to "get over" the person.
My the second ingredient is forgiveness or being forgiven for whatever happened. The top three people I get along with were pretty straight up when they ended things. They were proper men who addressed the situation head on so it was easy to forgive them. If at the time you threatened to burn clothing and vandalise vehicles, you should probably beg for theirs..
I had to have a good hard think about the third ingredient. I came to the conclusion that it must be acceptance. Acceptance that you are no longer the centre of their attention, acceptance that there will probably be someone else on the scene. Acceptance that you have to be ok with that or else clearly you need to add more time into the mix.
So by gently combining these three ingredients for eternal peace, love and happiness, you will hopefully begin to develop a nice smooth relationship with this former significant other person. If of course you hate their guts and never want to see their smarmy face and slightly receding hairline again, then continue to think about them next time Tay Tay sings a scathing song about an ex-lover.
Speaking of ingredients, this slice has ingredients and making it will most definitely lead to happiness.
Bakewell slices are traditionally made with jam but it is Christmas time and jam just won't cut the mustard. I often find that mince pies can be a little dry and the ratio of pastry to mince is all wrong. This bakewell slice has a far smaller ratio of pastry and the whole thing is kept moist and delicious with a nice thick layer of frangipane and lemon icing. This entire batch disappeared in minutes when I brought it into work. Queen Street's homeless population was also rather fond of it. So make the most of the on special mince and make this slice all throughout January.
Christmas Bakewell Slice
Adapted from Ripe Recipes by Angela Redfern
Makes 20x30cm slice
500g of sweet short pastry (homemade really does taste better)
200g butter, softened
200g ground almond
200g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Fruit mince filling
200g fruit mince
1 large apple, grated
3 cups icing sugar
juice of 2 lemons
30g butter, melted
Chopped glace cherries and blanched almonds to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees on bake and line your 20x30cm baking tin with baking paper.
Roll out your pastry to fit the base of the tin then blind bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to one side to cool.
To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add in the almonds and vanilla and beat well. Beat it the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before the next is added. Once all the eggs have been added, beat on high for a further five minutes just to be sure.
Mix together the fruit mince and the grated apple. Spread this over the pastry base. Spread your frangipane mix over the top of this. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the top has browned and a skewer comes out of the frangipane clean. Remove from the oven and fully cool before icing.
Mix all the icing ingredients together until a smooth and spreadable icing is formed. Spread this evenly over the top of the slice then sprinkle over the chopped glace cherries and almonds. Leave to set in the fridge before slicing up with a clean knife.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!