The jam slice was a staple of bakeries in north west England while we were growing up, and indeed they are still to be found in old fashioned bakers. Jam (the red flavour) is sandwiched between layers of a sort of cross between biscuit and pastry, and the top sprinkled with sugar. They were sold in large rectangles, and, not involving any of the fancy decorations such as cream or icing, were also very cheap!
We did a little research online, and the vast majority of the jam slice recipes available involve a coconut topping. Although that sounds lovely, it the simple pastry – jam – pastry treat that we wanted when we fancied a jam slice.
We decided to try using our gluten free pastry recipe, and as blackberries and raspberries were cheap at the supermarket, a homemade jam seemed like a great idea too! Of course you could use jam from a jar if you didn’t want to make your own. We added basil to provide a herby balancing note to the sweet, tangy jam.
The jam slices turned out beautifully, and are a delicious update of a nostalgic favourite.
Makes 6 pieces
For the jam –
150 g raspberries
150 g blackberries
100 g sugar
4 large basil leaves, shredded
peel from half a lemon, in strips
juice of half a lemon
For the pastry –
350g gluten free plain white flour mix plus extra for dusting, we used Dove’ s Farm
50g almond milk powder, we used Ecomil
200g vegetable fat, we used Trex
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp water
1 tsp caster sugar
First make the jam. Put the fruit, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel in a saucepan over a medium heat. Make a note of how many pieces of lemon peel there are, as you will need to remove them all later. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the fruit has collapsed and released its juice. To test if it’s done, drip a little jam onto a saucer of cold water, it will hold together rather than spreading out into the water. Leave to cool a little. Remove the lemon peel, and then stir through the basil.
Make the pastry according to the method here.
Preheat the oven to fan 160 c, and line a tray with baking paper.
Divide the pastry into two, and roll each piece into a 18 cm round, about 5 mm thick.
Transfer one pastry round carefully to the tray, and spread the jam all over it, right to the edges. Carefully top with the other pastry round, prick the top all over with a fork and sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden around the edges.
Allow to cool (this is very difficult…), and cut into wedges to serve.
By A. and E.