Frustratingly, I seem to be incapable of writing blog posts when my husband goes away. You would think I’d have more time on my hands (with one less mouth to feed, less washing to do and less picking up of stuff left around the house… hmmm). What I think actually happens is that I go into survival mode, cutting away anything extra that doesn’t fall into the ‘must-do’ category and then upon his return, life miraculously goes back to normal. Anyway, I’m grateful that this trip wasn’t as long as the last one and I can get back into it all again.
This simple tray-bake is somewhere between a cake and a slice and is entirely adaptable to feature whatever fresh fruit is in season at the time. It’s not overly sweet and spices can be changed, nuts can be added, along with a whole host of other flavourings such as vanilla, citrus zest and liqueurs (I’m thinking Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Kirsch etc). Feel free to use your imagination and give it a whirl!
In this version that I made recently, I used fresh plums (from the local farmer’s market) and ground cardamom, which worked a treat for a late autumn afternoon tea.
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tray Bake | Gather and Graze
- 125g (½ Cup) Unsalted Butter
- 110g (½ Cup) Raw Caster Sugar
- 2 Large Free-Range Eggs
- 150g (1 Cup) Plain Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Cardamom*
- 3 Plums (pitted and cut into 8 slices)*
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 28 x 18 cm (11 x 7 inch) slice tin.
In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in 2 lots and stir until combined.
Using a knife, spread the mixture evenly over the base of the greased slice tin.
Press the sliced plums onto the top of the mixture.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for approx 30 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through.
Allow the tray bake to cool, before slicing into bars. Perfect served with a dollop of either whipped cream or Greek yoghurt.
As mentioned above, this tray bake is best adapted to use whatever fruit is in season at the time. Any additional spices should also be adapted to pair well with whichever fruit you choose. A few ideas you may wish to try…
- Fresh Fig and Ginger
- Pear and Cinnamon
- Raspberry (with 1 Tbsp of Grand Marnier mixed into the batter)
- Blueberry and Lime Zest
- Apricot and Slivered Almonds
- Cherry (with 1 Tbsp of Amaretto mixed into the batter)