Being somewhat culinary disenchanted of late, the likelihood of a recipe appearing on my blog is about as rare as the lions roaring in Trafalgar Square
When DH and I first got involved more than two decades ago, cooking and baking rated highly on my list of “what every new bride should be doing” list. These days we eat to live as opposed to live to eat. I suspect life poked its sticky beak in creativity – depressing thought. My first port of call, when called upon these days to provide baked goods, is usually our local “Tuis Nywerheid” (translated as Home Industry) where people who are really good and dedicated produce a wealth of home-made deliciousness.
That was until a few weeks ago, when my work-colleague arrived at the office one day clutching a small bit of paper and the first words out of her mouth were “I’ve found it, something you will want to make”. She is a culinary afficionado (much like my friend Cindy) and is frequently astounded by my lack of enthusiasm. Months of nagging eventually won the day and I decided to navigate the over-grown path of the baking aisle at our local grocer and give it a whirl. Armed with a list for “Fruit Squares” I filled my basket with fresh goodies (the minimal supplies in my pantry having being relegated to the bin suffering from the syndrome known as “severely past the sell-by date”) and strode much later into my kitchen brimming with bravado.
With my hand on my heart, I can happily report that yes they are easy, really delish, last well and on a not so good note will culminate in you having to bake multiple batches ad infinitum (my task for tonight). It goes as such:-
“Rose’s Fruit Squares”
2 cups white flour (plain flour/cake flour – not self raising)
2 cups oats (i used jungle oats – plain, unflavoured)
2 cups coconut (dessicated on the package)
1 cup seedless raisins (i couldn’t find any so used golden sultannas – so juicily glorious)
250g margarine (i assume you can use unsalted butter but no promises)
1 egg (extra large – i used free range)
5ml bicarb dissolved in a little milk (i used about 2 tablespoons of milk but I guess whatever)
5ml vanilla essence (not the good stuff ie. vanilla extract, common essence in a bottle is perfect)
– Mix first six ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the middle (i mixed by hand – wooden spoon – no need for the blender)
– Melt marg and syrup (did mine in the microwave – quicker than stovetop) and add to dry ingredients together with beaten egg, bicarb and vanilla essence (while the marg/syrup where doing their blending thing, I beat my egg with a fork in a plastic jug and then added the dissolved bicarb/milk and vanilla essence to the egg.)
– Mix well (again by hand) and place in a greased baking tray (i used “spray and cook” for mine and interpreted “place” to mean spread the mixture evenly over the baking tray with the wooden spoon to about a 1cm thickness).
– Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees c for +/-20 minutes until golden on top. Leave to cool and cut into squares.
I packed the results in plastic containers, layers separated with carlton roll/kitchen paper and they last like a dream – especially suitable for the mid afternoon schlumph.
On a completely old-fashioned and thoroughly non pc note, the best part of the tiresome process ……… seeing DH reach for a fruit square through choice 🙂
A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch. ~James Beard