Fruit Slice/Slab Aka Flea Cemetery



  1. 750 g plain flour
  2. 1 pinch salt
  3. 225 g margarine or 225 g shortening
  4. 250 g butter
  5. 250 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling if required
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. 550 g currants
  8. 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  9. 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  10. 2 teaspoons custard powder, mixed with a little water to form a thick, smooth paste


  1. Make the pastry by sifting flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add butter and shortening/margarine and using your fingertips mix together till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. This may take a little while as this makes a lot of pastry, stick in there and it will all come together.
  4. Stir in the sugar then add the beaten egg.
  5. Mix together until the ingredients bind together making a soft dough.
  6. Knead the dough lightly till smooth then wrap in cling and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Meanwhile make the filling by placing currants, mixed spice and sugar in a large pan and cover with just enough cold water to cover the currants and no more.
  8. Bring this to the boil and simmer gently for no more than 5 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the custard powder paste stirring until the fruit mixture has thickened slightly, it will thicken even more when cold.
  10. Preheat your oven to Gas mark 3/170oC.
  11. Grease a 18cm x 30cm swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking paper, although mine was ok without it.
  12. Divide pastry in 2 and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface and line the tin with it, pressing the pastry over the base and sides of the tin.
  13. Brush the edges with a little water.
  14. Spoon in the fruit mixture, spreading it evenly over the base, packing it down well.
  15. Roll out the remaining pastry to a rectangle larger than the tin and lay this over the filling and pat down lightly.
  16. Using a sharp knife trim away excess pastry from the edges and crimp the edges for decoration.
  17. Cut 2 slits in the centre of the pie and bake in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden.
  18. Sprinkle with caster sugar when hot then leave to cool and serve warm or cold in slices.
  19. Optional topping: Instead of the sugar you can cover it with white glace icing.
  20. It must be a thick mixture applied in a thick layer to the pie when it is cold.