This is the stuff Kiwi afternoon teas are made of! I have long been a fan of jam slices but it’s taken me this long to attempt making my own, even after years of continual disappointment from the cardboard-like ones found in bakeries that require a microscope to find any trace of fruit.
I was quite nervous about the prospect of having to roll the dough out like pastry since such things aren’t my forte. But don’t be put off – this surprisingly easy recipe can handle an amazing amount of patchworking and will still end up looking need and tidy!
Makes 24 squares
170 g butter, softened
115 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
375 g jar of raspberry jam – you can substitute this for any jam you fancy! I used my own homemade three-berry jam this time.
25 g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
3 Tablespoons warm water
1/4 teaspoon raspberry essence
- Preheat oven to 200˚C and line a 30 x 20cm tin with baking paper.
- For the shortcake: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gently mix in the egg and vanilla essence until just combined.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder then mix into a soft dough.
- Divide the dough evenly in two, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for around 10 minutes.
- Put one half of the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll out until it is big enough to cover the bottom of your tray. It should be quite thin – around 5mm.
- Carefully peel the baking paper off the dough and transfer it into the tray. In my experience it is nearly impossible to do this in one go – but if the dough breaks or is uneven around the edges, simply use your fingers to mould it back together. You’ll hardly notice the joins later, trust me. Trim any excess dough from the edges (this can be used for any patching up that is required).
- Spoon the jam onto the dough and gently spread it out, making sure there are no gaps. You can use as much or as little jam as you like, as long as the entire surface is covered. I used about 3/4 of a 375g jar.
- Roll out the second batch of dough and place it on top of the jam, trimming and patching it up as you did with the first layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until firm and lightly golden on top. Set aside to cool. If you can’t resist trying a piece at this point, be careful – the jam will be extremely hot!
- For the icing: Combine the icing sugar and butter in a bowl and mix. Add the warm water and raspberry essence, then stir vigorously until smooth.
- When the slice is completely cool, spread icing evenly on top. Leave to set at room temperature before cutting into squares. The slice will keep for about a week in an airtight container – but I highly doubt it will last that long!
© thebakingof 2013