Fruit Slice/Slab Aka Flea Cemetery
- 750 g plain flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 225 g margarine or 225 g shortening
- 250 g butter
- 250 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling if required
- 1 egg, beaten
- 550 g currants
- 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons custard powder, mixed with a little water to form a thick, smooth paste
- Make the pastry by sifting flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add butter and shortening/margarine and using your fingertips mix together till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- This may take a little while as this makes a lot of pastry, stick in there and it will all come together.
- Stir in the sugar then add the beaten egg.
- Mix together until the ingredients bind together making a soft dough.
- Knead the dough lightly till smooth then wrap in cling and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- 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.
- Bring this to the boil and simmer gently for no more than 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Preheat your oven to Gas mark 3/170oC.
- Grease a 18cm x 30cm swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking paper, although mine was ok without it.
- 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.
- Brush the edges with a little water.
- Spoon in the fruit mixture, spreading it evenly over the base, packing it down well.
- Roll out the remaining pastry to a rectangle larger than the tin and lay this over the filling and pat down lightly.
- Using a sharp knife trim away excess pastry from the edges and crimp the edges for decoration.
- 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.
- Sprinkle with caster sugar when hot then leave to cool and serve warm or cold in slices.
- Optional topping: Instead of the sugar you can cover it with white glace icing.
- It must be a thick mixture applied in a thick layer to the pie when it is cold.