This wholemeal dried fruit slice is old-fashioned afternoon-tea fare. It’s nutty and sticky but not too sweet. The authors like it best with the dried fruit compote used here, but you can also use roasted fruits, thick jams, or a grape and date paste to spread between the layers. The compote is worth making in its own right, as it’s the perfect addition to steaming bowls of porridge, or it can be spooned over unsweetened yoghurt or served with custard.
WHAT YOU NEED
For the slice
1½ cups (220g) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
Pinch of salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon
1 cup (185g) brown sugar
½ cup (50g) rolled oats
¼ cup (40g) sunflower seeds
170g cold butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
For the dried fruit compote
2–3 teabags, such as earl grey, English breakfast, or orange pekoe
400g mixed dried fruit
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
⅓ cup (80ml) rum or whiskey (optional)
WHAT TO DO
To make the compote, boil the kettle and steep the tea (you’ll need 400ml for this recipe). Place the mixed dried fruit in a saucepan with the orange zest and juice, cinnamon, and honey. When the tea is nice and strong, pour 300ml into the saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, for 30 mins or until the dried fruits are soft, sticky, and glossy. Add the remaining tea, or add the rum or whiskey, and simmer for a few more minutes until the mixture comes together but isn’t too dry.
The compote will keep in a clean jar in the fridge for up to one month, or heat-process it for 30mins and store in the pantry for up to two years.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a 20cm x 25cm slice tin or baking dish.
Place the flour, salt, baking powder, and ginger or cinnamon in a food processor and blitz until combined. Add the sugar, oats, and sunflower seeds and blitz again. Add the butter and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix until the mixture looks crumbly and a little moist.
Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin, pressing down firmly with your hand to form a hard, flat surface. Spoon the dried fruit compote over and evenly spread to make a 5mm thick layer. Top with the other half of the mixture and lightly press with the back of a spoon. Don’t worry if the compote isn’t completely covered; it makes a pretty mottled top.
Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until golden. Eat warm, or cool in the fridge and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.