Honey and orange peel slices

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My sister came back from visiting Mum and Dad the other day. While we were chatting her iphone went off and a black and white picture of our granddad in his First World War uniform appeared on her screen. She went down memory line with Mum and brought back pieces of the family history. 


Our granddad was a gentle soul with the most petite physique that you could imagine and with iron made hands; made it through two world wars  (was taken prisoner of war when he was only 16) and lived to celebrate his 92nd birthday. He loved food and adored Nana and her baking. While breads and pies were quite common  in their kitchen, sweet treats were reserved  for special occasions only, as butter, sugar, nuts and even eggs were way too expensive for their household. At some point they had enough savings and bought a small apple orchard with a couple of beehives tucked in one of the plot corners. The baking repertoire became richer and the tray slices and cakes appeared more regularly on their table. We always assumed that she had her baking book and never wrote any of her recipes down. We were wrong, she was able to read, but not to write so she memorised everything that was important to her. 


I never found out about the "secret ingredients" in her famous honey slices. This is the closest I was able to get, the recipe from the old Big Baking book:



Honey and orange peel slices

Oiled and laid with baking parchment  24 cm x 36 cm baking tray
Temperature : 200 C
Makes 24 square ( 6 x 6) slices

Ingredients 
500 gr honey
125 ml oil
250 g sugar
700 gr plain flour
10 gr baking powder
250 gr ground almond
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pimento
pinch of salt
3 eggs
150 gr orange and lemon peel

to decorate: 3 table spoons condensed milk, 24 glaced cherries, 100 gr citrus peel,  100 gr (4 x 24) whole blanched almonds.


Heat and cook slowly honey with oil and sugar. Leave it to cool, stir occasionally.
Sift the flour with baking powder, add the ground almonds, spices, eggs and the citrus peel, Combine thoroughly then add the honey mixture to make a smooth dough, cover and refrigerate for one hour.  
Pat the dough flat into a prepared baking tin, brush with condensed milk and using a sharp knife mark lightly 6 cm x 6 cm squares. Decorate with glaced cherries, almonds and citrus peel. Bake on middle rack for about 49 minutes or until light golden in colour. Leave it to cool and cut square slices as marked. 
Keep in an airtight container.



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