Shortbread fruit slice

shortbread fruit slice 2

This is another fruity variation on a traditional treat. I didn’t plan this succession of posts in this way. We have a friend who makes the most delicious fruit slice. We have asked her for the recipe but she does that quick change of subject thing that suggests that it is a closely guarded family secret. So, each time she cooks us a batch I try my best to work out how she does it. I haven’t cracked it yet. Both my girls love Mrs C’s fruit slice and devour it as soon as it arrives. So, the experiments will have to continue until I crack it.

I think Mrs C’s is a pastry rather than a shortbread but it’s a pastry quite like no other. I tried my own version with a quick flaky pastry but it wasn’t the same. In fact it was nowhere near. Then I tried this, just in case. I knew it wouldn’t be the same as Mrs C’s but it is pretty good. So, if you don’t have the benchmark of Mrs C’s fruit slice to stand up to you could be very satisfied with these. They take the shortbread just one step further in the decadence stakes. They travel well so make good picnic or fete treats and with the summer holidays just around the corner we are hoping that there will be plenty of opportunities for picnics, and in the open air, rather than in the car.

For the shortbread base and topping
425 g (15 0z) plain flour
150g (5oz) caster sugar
275g (10oz) butter

For the fruit filling
150g (5oz) mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, glace cherries, mixed peel etc)
25g (1oz) soft light brown sugar
juice of 1 orange


Preheat the oven to 160°c, gas mark 3, or place a rack on the bottom rung of the baking oven of the Aga. Grease a 26cm square tin.

To make the fruit filling, pour the orange juice into a small saucepan and add the sugar and fruit. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until the fruit has plumped up. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

To make the shortbread, place the flour, sugar and cubed butter into a food processor and pulse until it begins to come together. If you don’t have a food processor then place the flour in a large bowl, stir in the sugar and using your fingertips rub in the cubed butter, until it begins to make pea sized pieces.

Spread half of the shortbread mixture in the bottom of the tin and press down well with the back of a spoon. Spread the fruit evenly over and cover with the remaining shortbread dough. Press down well with the spoon. Prick all over with a fork. Place in the centre of the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden. Sprinkle with caster sugar and cut into squares. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

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13 thoughts on “Shortbread fruit slice”

  1. Oh gosh – my mum used to make these and we called them fly cemeteries! I will hunt for the recipe and compare. I too have been known to change the subject very quickly when asked for recipes which are family secrets. Oops.

      1. Hiya
        I’ve just followed your recipe for these n they have come out soggy. What did I do wrong ?

      2. Hi Clare, apologies for the delay in replying. I am not sure what might have gone wrong. Was the fruit very wet? It should be moist and plumped but not too much juice. Next time try draining off any extra juice. I hope it goes well next time.

      3. Morning. Thankyou so much for your comment. I will definitely try them again. My fruit cakes always come out right, but not giving up on the slices lol

  2. Shame she isn’t sharing the recipe, she really should esp as she knows you enjoy them. But perhaps by giving you the recipe, she feels that she won’t be able to make them for you and your girls, so you just better keep experimenting. I love treats like this, good to eat indoors and outdoors.

  3. Ooh yes, I hope you get luckier with your picnics this year Kath. The slice looks delicious – shortbread is pretty much perfect in any guise I reckon. good luck with your next iteration.

  4. I have exactly the same problem my Mum made the most delicious ones
    but alas when she passed on it didn’t appear anywhere in her old recipe books. I too have tried to experiment with the lovely pastry she made – the middle is not the problem but cant perfect the pastry. Am just going to try your recipe this morning. Thank you.

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