Time to get back involved with the Bloggers Bake Off! As I made tuiles a couple of weeks ago, and don’t have any need to make a biscuit tower (I’m not sure that anyone does really), I decided to make a tray bake.
At first I was thinking of a tray bake as one of those horrible things people sometimes bring into work from Tesco when it’s their birthday. But, after watching the episode, I realised that actually, it’s any sort of baked good in a tray, like brownies, millionaire’s shortbread, or Nanaimo bars.
Almond, Lemon, and Strawberry Traybake Recipe
175g plain flour
a pinch of salt
2tbsp caster sugar
115g unsalted butter
1 medium egg yolk mixed with 2tbsp ice cold water
120g unsalted butter, soft but not runny
120g caster sugar
2 medium eggs at room temperature
60g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
a few drops almond essence
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon.
160g Strawberries, quartered
110g plain flour
35g unsalted butter
50 demerara sugar
Put the flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, and process until it resembles crumbs.
Next add the egg yolk/water mixture and process until it just comes together, then wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line the base of a 20x30cm baking tin with non-stick baking paper, then roll out the pastry and use to line the bottom of the tin. Chill in the fridge until ready.
Add the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, almonds, and almond extract into a bowl, and mix together. Spread over the pastry layer.
Scatter the chopped strawberries over the surface, then press them into the almond mixture.
Next, make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingertips until it resembles lumpy breadcrumbs. Spread this over the surface of the traybake and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Allow to cool and firm up in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to fully cool.
Meanwhile, make the lemon icing by combining lemon juice and icing sugar until you reach a drizzling consistency (note: mine is a little thick!) Drizzle over the surface of the traybake, then trim the edges and cut into equal pieces.
So, you have a layer of sweet shortcrust pastry, an almond cake layer with pieces of strawberry, then a crumbly top layer drizzled in lemon icing.
Mr M approves. And no soggy bottoms here! Hurrah!