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Apple, Date & Nut Slice With Brandy Syrup

Apple is added to the traditional and cherished South African “Tipsy Tart” also known as Cape Brandy Tart and turned into the popular “slice” that features strongly in New Zealand and Australia!  Enjoy with whipped cream or ice-cream or custard.

1½ cups (375 ml/250 g) stoned dates, coarsely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
¾ cup (175 ml) boiling water
½ cup (125 ml) sugar
½ cup (125 ml/125 g) butter
1½ cups (375 ml) cake flour
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder 
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
1 tsp[ (5 ml) ground cinnamon
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) mixed spice
2 large eggs
1 cup (250 ml) chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, macadamias, brazils
2 apples, unpeeled and diced (e.g. Granny Smith or Braeburn)

Brandy syrup
½ cup (125 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) sugar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cinnamon
½ cup (125 ml) brandy

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Grease a rectangular pie dish (± 28 x 20 x 3 cm) well with butter.
  2. Cut up the dates finely and place in a mixing bowl with the baking soda, boiling water, sugar and butter. Mix thoroughly to combine, mashing the dates a little to break up and cool for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, gluten free baking powder, salt and spice, add the date mixture, eggs, nuts and apple and stir well to combine.
  4. Turn the batter into the dish, spread evenly and bake 25 minutes or until firm and thoroughly cooked. Lower the temperature towards the end of baking time if the top browns too soon to prevent it from browning too much.
  5. Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the syrup, except the brandy, in a small saucepan and stir over moderate heat until the sugar has melted.
  6. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the syrup has reduced by about ¼ . Stir in the brandy.
  7. Remove the baked tart from the oven, cool a few minutes and spoon over the syrup.
  8. Leave to stand until the syrup has been absorbed. Cut into neat slices and serve slightly warm as explained above or cool and reheat when required.

12 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 507.

This recipe can be made with gluten free flour or gluten free baking mix.   If  gluten free baking mix is used reduce the baking powder to 5 ml (1 tsp).