Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Granny's Apple Slice

My Dad's mother, my Granny was a country baker and preserver extraordinaire. She lived her whole life in regional Victoria. The Country Women's Association, the local lawn bowls club, the church auxiliary, the show society and countless family occasions all to benefit from the myriad of treats. She showed her care and concern by bringing food (and flowers usually). One particular was our favourite. Granny's apple slice. My brother even said the other day that he thinks the apple slice was the first food he ever loved. My Granny now has Alzheimer's Disease and is in full time care. She can't talk to us or bake anymore. At a recent family get together I brought her apple slice to share. It was just as divinely sugary and buttery as ever!
                                                          Granny's Apple Slice

6-8 Green Apples
2/3 Cup Sugar
125g Butter softened. 
1 Egg
2 Cups Self Raising Flour

1 Cup Icing Sugar
1/2 Lemon Juiced
Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 160C. 
Peel and core the apples. Stew with a dash of water until soft. Mash with a fork or blend together. Drain off any excess liquid through a sieve. Place apple puree in the fridge. 
Cream and butter and sugar together. Add the egg. Add the self raising flour. I like to refrigerate the dough for 10 mins before rolling it out so its a little more firm. 
Divide the dough in two. Roll out half (Granny always made it rectangular, but I've successfully been using a pizza tray) onto grease proof paper. Spoon and spread the apple puree onto the base. Roll out the other half of the dough mixture on grease proof paper and gentle place it on top of the other layers. 
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool
Make up the icing by mixing 1 cup icing sugar with 1/2 lemon juiced and a tiny bit of extra water to make it a spreadable consistency. Smooth over the top of the slice. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. 

Now you may be thinking "that's a lot of sugar!" or "that's a lot of white flour!". You'd be right. So I tried changing the recipe. I made a batch of 1/2 cup rapadura sugar and swapped half the white self raising flour for wholemeal spelt flour + baking powder. It was still delicious, but crumbly. I think the reality is, you can't improve on the flavour or butter, sugar, flour, apples and cinnamon. There's something so wholesome about such simple ingredients. No additives. No colours. No artificial flavours. Just real ingredients baked at home. It's an old fashioned country style winner. Baked with love.

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