This flavoursome slice is a delightful combination of sweet rich fruit mince, on a base of soft, light and crumbly shortbread. The crumble topping is a blend of shortbread and slivered almonds, which gives a wonderful crunchy texture. Because of its soft and crumbly texture, this slice is best eaten with a spoon or spork.
This particular recipe has given me such a headache (some recipes are like that!), that I had almost given up on having it ready for Christmas this year. I was trying to convert a standard recipe in to a gluten and dairy free one, with the original coming from the December ’13 issue of the Coles Supermarket Food magazine. So my poor family and friends have eaten quite a few different variations of it since I started back in July!
The main issue I had was that the shortbread was just too delicate and crumbly. One of the ingredients in the original recipe was semolina. Semolina is a high protein flour, which is used in making gluten-full pasta. However, when it’s used in baking it creates a firm dough. So this was my dilemma, trying to find a gluten free substitute. However, persistence and patience eventually paid off!
I hope you enjoy this slice as much as my friends and family do.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
Recipe Update: To give the shortbread a softer and lighter texture, I added 3 tablespoons of potato starch to the flour blend. I’m also currently using the Bob’s Red Mill brand of xanthan gum, as I’m no longer able to buy the Nu-vit brand. I have found by using this new brand, I now no longer need to add the 2 tablespoons of dairy free milk.
Makes 12 generous sized portions
1 quantity of suet-free fruit mince
72g (2.6 ounces or ½ cup) superfine brown rice flour
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) superfine white rice flour
44g 1.6 ounces or ⅓ cup) tapioca starch
39g (1.4 ounces or ⅓ cup) almond flour/meal
28g (1.0 ounces or ¼ cup) corn starch
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) potato starch
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
168g (5.9 ounces or ¾ cup) gluten & dairy free butter
96g (3.4 ounces or ½ cup) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
50g (1.8 ounces or a scant ½ cup) slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 160C and grease and line a 28cm X 18cm slice tin with baking paper/parchment, leave enough over hanging so you can lift out the slice once cooked and cooled.
Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy, which takes a couple of minutes.
Next, add the egg and mix until well combined.
With a sturdy spatula, or wooden spoon, fold through the flour. The mixture is a little on the sticky side, but that’s ok, it’s still pretty easy to work with.
Take ¾ of the dough, reserving a ¼ of the mixture for the crumble topping. I found it easier to first use a silicone spatula to gently and evenly spread the mixture into the prepared tin. Then I used my hands to gently push the mixture into the corners and press it more firmly into the tin, so as to make the mixture more compact. This does take a little time and patience.
Now, spread the cooled fruit filling over the base right to the edges.
Add the slivered almonds to the reserved dough and stir until well combined. The dough is thick and quite sticky, so use your fingers to break it up into smaller pieces.
Evenly sprinkle it over the fruit topping to cover the top and then lightly press it into the filling. Again, this does take a little time and patience.
Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, until the crumble topping looks lightly golden in colour. Allow the slice to completely cool in the pan before refrigerating it overnight. It’s very important that the slice is well chilled, as it makes cutting it into pieces a lot easier. Use a very sharp knife to cut the slice into 12 pieces.
Store in a single later in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8