Cherry Shortbread Florentine Slices

Makes 16  slices


200g/7oz plain flour

100g/3 ½ oz semolina

100g/3 ½ oz caster sugar 

200g/7oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes

100g/3 ½ oz glace cherries, cut into quarters

For the Florentine topping

40g/1 ½ oz unsalted butter

75g/3oz golden caster sugar 

4 tbsp double cream

2 tsp glucose, optional

45g/1 ½ oz plain flour

Zest ½ orange

150g/5oz mixed nuts (50g brazil nuts & 50g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped,  50g toasted flaked almonds)

50g/ 2oz glace cherries, chopped

50g/2oz mixed peel

50g/2oz sultanas

Preheat the oven 170c/fan 150/gas 3

Line a 24cm/9in square tin with baking parchment

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and put into a processor with a pinch of salt.  Cut the butter into cubes and add.  Process for a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs and then tip back into your bowl.  Stir through the chopped cherries and then tip the mixture into your prepared tin and press it down firmly with the back of a spoon to line the base.  Bake for 35 minutes until it is a pale biscuit colour. Remove from the oven and then increase the temperature to 190c/fan 170/gas 5.

For the Florentine topping, put the butter, sugar, glucose (if using) and cream into saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has melted.  Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, a pinch of salt, orange zest, nuts, cherries, peel and sultanas.

Carefully spread evenly over your shortbread base and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool before cutting into fingers.

To get ahead; the shortbread will last 4/5 days in an airtight container

To freeze; the shortbread does freeze but the topping loses a little of its chewy texture

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