Everyone needs a good slice in their baking repertoire. More glamorous than a biscuit, and a smaller nibble than a wedge of cake, a piece of slice is a sweet treat at any time of the day. It's particularly welcome as an accompaniment to a morning coffee or cup of tea.
Those of us who were lucky enough to have grandmothers who baked will have many memories of their special slice and have hopefully tucked away a handwritten copy of the family recipe in a safe place. (At the risk of sounding morbid, I've recently had several friends bemoan the fact that favourite family recipes died with their grandmother, so please write down those treasured recipes before it's too late!)
Slices always seem slightly old-fashioned to me but perhaps that's because so many food memories from my childhood involve slices. Afternoon tea at my great-aunt's house always involved a slice and a sponge cake. Plates of hedgehog, jelly slice, chocolate rough slice, lemon slice and cheesecake slice graced many a supper at school and sporting functions. And we all had to successfully make a slice in order to pass our baking badge at Brownies.
At my workplace, we have morning tea every Friday. Because there are many accomplished cooks in our team, we once held a Morning Tea Bake-Off. My friend Trudi baked her grandmother's lemon slice. Although it didn't win, the sweet tang of the slice leaves you wanting more. As well as being easy to make, I love the way this recipe is written. So many of my family recipes involve the same "bit of this, bit of that" measurements and lack of specific instructions, yet somehow it all comes together in the end.
TRUDI'S GRAN'S LEMON SLICE
1 packet Arnott's milk coffee or yoyo biscuits
1 packets saos
250g dried apricots chopped
1 tin condensed milk
1 cup coconut
Crush biscuits. Melt butter and condensed milk. Combine all dry ingredients, then add melted butter & condensed milk and stir thoroughly. Press into a Swiss roll tin (30 x 25cm). Place in the fridge to set while you make the icing.
For the icing, there's no exact measurements - just combine icing sugar, butter, a dash of boiling water (be careful not to use too much - just add slowly), juice of 1/2 lemon and vanilla essence. I think I basically used 500g icing sugar - maybe two tablespoons or so of melted butter and probably juice of two lemons - just to make it extra lemony!
Once iced, cut into slices, then freeze.