Crisis Cooking with Mrs Simkins
Here’s a blast from the past, an easy to make treat with no fancy ingredients and it tastes absolutely lovely. My husband, who when it comes to cake has the willpower of a teaspoon, yet fears for his waistline, couldn’t resist it and when the last slice had been eaten said: Never make that again! Please! You have been warned.
No worries if you haven’t, just try it anyway but does anyone else actually remember Majorca slice? This is going back donkey’s years: it came in a box and consisted of a pastry base topped with a light almond-y sponge with sultanas and raisins and glace cherries.
The Majorca connection might have been because Majorca, or Mallorca, to spell it the Spanish way, is famous for its almond trees: almond cakes are a local speciality.
I was reminded of it over Christmas whilst catching up with a very entertaining new crime drama that came out last year set on the island.
Yes, it was The Mallorca Files! Track it down if you can, it’s perfect escapism for these troubled times. A Majorca slice and a cup of tea would round off the relaxing experience perfectly.
Here’s the replicated recipe: it tastes very much as I remember it: and all the better for being homemade.
Makes 8 squares (or cut into 16 squares)
- 120g (4oz) plain flour
- 60g (2oz) cold salted butter, diced
- ½ tablespoon golden caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
50g (2oz) salted butter, softened
50g (2oz) golden caster sugar, plus extra for finishing
90g (3¼oz) plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
1 medium egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon milk
25g (1oz) ground almonds
75g (3oz) sultanas and raisins combined
25g (1oz) glace cherries, quartered, plus extra for finishing
Preheat oven to 180C (fan oven) gas mark 6 or equivalent
You will need a lightly buttered rectangular tin or baking dish, around 20cm x 14cm (7in x5in)
Whiz the flour and butter into fine crumbs in a food processor. Add water and whiz until large clumps form. Remove and knead gently together by hand (or make entirely by hand if you prefer).
Cover and chill for 20 minutes. Roll out to a depth of a pound coin.
Put your tin on the pastry and cut round so you have a piece to fit he bottom of the tin: there’s no need to take the pastry up the sides. Prick all over with a fork.
Whiz butter and sugar together in a food processor until creamed and fluffy or cream by hand.
Sieve in half flour, add eggs and vanilla and sieve over remaining flour. Whiz or beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy. Whiz or beat in ground almonds, milk, dried fruit and cherries.
Spread the mix over the pastry and finish with a few more cherry pieces and a sprinkling of sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
Cut into 8 or 16 when cold.