Beth's nectarine and strawberry slice that is guaranteed to make you awesomely popular*
Melted butter or spray oil for greasing the pan
1 punnet strawberries, washed, drained, cut in half
3 nectarines, cut into 6 pieces each. (I could have blanched them and peeled them, but I couldn't be bothered. The baked skin was soft and didn't affect the overall taste or texture.)
100g butter, cubed, at room temperature
110g caster sugar (or substitute artificial sugar. CSR Smart sugar is my preferred brand)
1 tsp vanilla essence
75g self-raising flour
75g plain flour
100g ground almonds
Icing sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 16.5 x 26cm (base measurement) slab pan with melted butter or lightly grease with spray oil. Line the pan with non-stick baking paper to cover the base and extend over the long sides.
- Use electric beaters to beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence in a medium sized mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined.
- Sift the self-raising and plain flours over the batter. Add the ground almonds and use a large metal spoon or metal spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface. The mixture is quite stiff so you must hold the paper in place.
- Arrange the nectarine pieces and strawberry halves in an alternating pattern on top of the batter and press down gently so they are slightly embedded. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes (mine took 30 mins) or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the slice comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting out.
- Serve at room temperature as a slice, cut into 12 portions. Or, cut into 8 portions and serve warm for dessert accompanied by cream or ice-cream. Dust with icing sugar just before serving. Best eaten on the same day.
* Guaranteed only if you are a nice person to start out with.