When I worked 12 hour overnight shifts, among my most popular colleagues were those who, apparently casually, knocked up a tub full of cakes to be shared round when everyone was at a low ebb in the early hours.
I wasn't one of them ... I was perennially grumpy through tiredness (that's my excuse) and far better known for my bad language than I was for my culinary creations. But should you ever need to curry favour with colleagues, or you're asked to supply something for the school fete, this is a handy recipe to have up your sleeve. Or you could risk unpopularity and eat it all yourself.
A fresh and fruity take on an old family favourite, this tray bake is good cut into fingers and eaten with a cuppa, or with a dollop of cream for dessert. I love the contrast of the tart raspberries against the sweet filling. Vary it by swapping the raspberries for blackberries and blackberry jam, or try pitted, halved cherries with cherry jam.
Raspberry Bakewell Slice (serves up to 12)
About 350g shortcrust pastry
3 tbsp raspberry jam
125g caster sugar
125g softened butter
1 egg, lightly beaten with a few drops of almond essence
25g plain flour
1/2 level tspn baking powder
125g ground almonds
A heaped double handful of fresh raspberries
Make the pastry, form into a flattened ball, wrap and chill for 15-20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and put in a baking sheet to heat up.
Line a shallow tin, the sort used for tray bakes or Swiss rolls, with silicone or baking paper. Roll out the pastry to approximately 5mm thick and place in the tin. Spread with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Chill again while you prepare the topping.
In another bowl, beat the caster sugar with the butter until pale and creamy. Add the whisked egg a little at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients with a metal spoon.
Trim the edges of the pastry and blob the frangipane on top of the jam, smoothing it across as evenly as possible.
Scatter with the fresh raspberries, place on the pre-heated baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the frangipane risen and browned.
Allow to cool before removing from the tin and cutting into fingers.