It feels like just the other day that I was travelling through to Kenilworth at the invitation of Pick n Pay Finest Launch only to get there and find out that dinner was on me…and the rest of the food bloggers invited as it were and we got treated to a launch with a difference. The idea behind the launch was for us to find/create/develop recipes using the Finest range and submit them to Pick n Pay to have a look at.
One of the items in my goodie bag was a jar of Black Cherry and Aniseed Jam and, while the jar was jumping up and down at me begging to become part of a black forest gateau, I resisted the temptation. I have been trying to save the big cakes for really special occassions and it is just simply more practical to fill the cookie jar instead.
One of my favourite chefs on Expresso (early morning lifestyle program on SABC3 every morning), Katelyn Williams has a lovely website where she blogs some of the recipes she tries out for the show. The Kate Tin has a wide range of (mainly) baking recipes which are just up my alley. I found this recipe for Blueberry Crumble bars there and, since blueberries are no longer in season, used the jar of Black Cherry and Aniseed Jam instead. The Black Cherry Crumble bars turned out really well and the kids enjoy having them with a tall glass of ice cold milk.
750ml cake flour
250ml castor sugar
5ml baking powder
2.5ml salt (leave out if using salted butter)
5ml finely grated lemon/orange zest
225g cold butter cut into small cubes
1 large whole egg
1 jar Pick n Pay Finest Black Cherry and Aniseed Jam
Mix dry ingredients and zest together in a large bowl or a food processor until well blended. Cut butter into smaller blocks and add to the food processor while the motor is running or rub into the flour using your finger tips. Try to keep your hands cold by dunking them into iced water while you are rubbing the butter in. You want a fine crumb to form and you don’t want the butter to melt. Once the butter is well mixed into the flour, add the egg and bring mixture together with your hands to form a dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour or two.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Split dough into 2 halves and place one half back in the fridge. Press the half that you have into a buttered baking/cookie sheet using your fingers to spread the mixture evenly over the bottom. Spread whole bottle of jam over the pressed pastry base. If you are using a lower quality jam or preserve, you might find it easier to melt the jam slightly in the microwave to allow it to spread better. Remove remaining dough from the fridge and using an ordinary cheese grater, grate the dough evenly over the jam. Back for 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing and dusting with icing sugar.