Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bill Granger's Peach And Raspberry Slice

Saturday was beautiful, beginning quietly sometime near 6am, and involved a cup of tea in bed. Delightful. I spent some time the day before baking; rye bread, sultana cake and another peach and raspberry slice. Except last Saturday I made it with peaches and the first tayberries from my kitchen garden; yesterday I made it with nectarines and raspberries. Both are just delicious. I watched Bill Granger last Sunday making it as part of his Bill's Food programme, filmed in Sydney. It's simplicity itself, and if Bill's two tiny daughters can make it with him, then we can too!

Take 6.5oz plain flour, and add 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, then rub in 4.5oz butter. When you arrive at the breadcrumb stage, add 4oz brown sugar and 4oz caster sugar. Press about half into the base of a lasagna dish, or baking tray. You'll know what size pan to use by the amount of mixture and volume of fruit set out on your kitchen table. I've made this a few times now, and if I add a bit too much butter, the dry base mix bakes into a soft, cakey texture. If I keep the butter on the short side, the base bakes into a crispy, biscuity texture; both are just delicious and on balance I prefer the latter.
Peel three peaches or nectarines if you can be bothered, otherwise use it skin and all. Slice each fruit into about 8 slices, and if the fruit is a bit ripe, do the cutting over the base mixture so that the peach juice dribbles through your fingers into the dish. Arrange the slices over the top of the mixture anyway you want, then scatter the raspberries between the slices.
Now add an extra half teaspoon of baking powder, and egg and 6fl.oz milk to the remaining base mixture, and mix it together until most of the lumps are sorted. Then pour over the fruit and berries and bake at 180c for an hour until brown and ravishingly beautiful. The middle will come out either cooked through or a bit runny. Who cares. Eat warm. Eat cold that afternoon. Eat for a midnight feast. Eat for breakfast the next day. Eat with a cup of coffee. Eat it with a dollop of creme fraiche. Eat it with vanilla ice cream. Eat it any way you want. Because making this peach and raspberry slice once is not an option; now you are hooked. Bill Granger, my dealer.