Scottish Fruit Slice Recipe

scottish fruit slice

AKA dead fly cake, fly cemetery or flies’ graveyard

A sweet treat known as dead fly cake, fly cemetery or flies’ graveyard might not sound all that enticing but if you are offered it in Scotland then grab a slice because these are the nicknames for Scottish Fruit Slice, or you may just know it as a fruit square.

Whatever you may call this it is an easy cake to make. It consists of shortcrust pastry filled with currants which are said to resemble dead flies!

Don’t let the name put you off trying it or making it. It’s just buttery pastry filled with juicy sugary fruit, so like a Christmas mince pie, only better.

This type of treat is popular in bakeries in Scotland, perfect alongside an afternoon cuppa. It was a school dinner favourite as well, try it with hot custard.

If you like this recipe, have a look at our Coconut Snowball recipe, or Cream Cookie recipe.

Ingredients

Here is what you need to make Scottish Fruit Slice.

  • currants
  • mixed spice
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • plain flour
  • cold butter
  • cold water

See the recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Start by making the pastry. Either use store-bought shortcrust pastry or make your own. If you are making your own, a food processor makes easy work of it. If you don’t have one, then make it by hand.

Combine the flour and butter to make a breadcrumb-like texture. Then add the cold water and blend. If doing this by hand, use a butter knife to stir the mixture together so the pastry doesn’t heat up too much.

Bring the pastry together into a ball, cover it with clingfilm and put it into the fridge to rest for around 15 mins.

Whilst the pastry is resting, create the filling, plus pre-heat the oven Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, gas mark 4.

scottish fruit slice

Melt the butter either in a pot on the stove or in a microwave. In a bowl combine the currants, sugar, mixed spice and butter.

scottish fruit slice

Take the pastry out of the fridge and split it into two pieces. One piece should be bigger than the other. The bigger one will be the base. Roll out this bigger slice, to between 3-5mm in thickness, to slightly larger than the baking tin.

Add baking paper to the baking tin and place the base pastry onto the tin.

scottish fruit slice

Pour in the filling and spread evenly over the pastry. 

scottish fruit slice

Roll out the remaining pastry for the top of the fruit slice. Place over the top and press into the pastry on the sides.

Using a knife, create a few cuts on the top of the pastry to let out the steam.

Brush the pastry with milk or egg for a more golden colour.

Bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown

scottish fruit slice

Once out of the oven, sprinkle with some more sugar for decoration.

scottish fruit slice

Video

Substitutions

Vegan – use a plant-based spread instead of butter and omit the egg/milk wash.

Fruit – raisins or sultanas can also be used instead of currants.

Sugar – white caster sugar can be used instead of brown sugar. Brown sugar gives an additional caramel taste to the filling.

Gluten Free – GF shortcrust pastry can be used instead.

Variations

Fruity – add a grated apple.

Boozy – add a splash of whisky or rum.

Equipment

A 9×5″ baking tray was used for this recipe.

A food processor is useful for making shortcrust pastry, but not essential

Storage

Sorry, we don’t know how long these Scottish Fruit Slices can be stored as they were gone in a couple of days. They should store well in an airtight container for a few days anyway.

Pin me for future baking

scottish fruit slice

Scottish Fruit Slice aka fly cemetery

Traditional Scottish afternoon sweet treat Fruit Slice
Course afternoon tea, sweet treat
Cuisine scottish
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g currants
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 150 g cold butter
  • 75 ml chilled water

Instructions
 

  • Start by making the pastry. Either use store-bought shortcrust pastry or make your own. If you are making your own, a food processor makes easy work of it. If you don’t have one, then make it by hand.
  • Combine the flour and butter to make a breadcrumb-like texture. Then add the cold water and blend. If doing this by hand, use a butter knife to stir the mixture together so the pastry doesn’t heat up too much.
  • Bring the pastry together into a ball, cover it with clingfilm and put it into the fridge to rest for around 15 mins.
  • Whilst the pastry is resting, create the filling, plus pre-heat the oven Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, gas mark 4.
  • Melt the butter either in a pot on the stove or in a microwave. In a bowl combine the currants, sugar, mixed spice and butter.
  • Take the pastry out of the fridge and split it into two pieces. One piece should be bigger than the other. The bigger one will be the base. Roll out this bigger slice, to between 3-5mm in thickness, to slightly larger than the baking tin.
  • Add baking paper to the baking tin and place the base pastry onto the tin.
  • Pour in the filling and spread evenly over the pastry.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry for the top of the fruit slice. Place over the top and press into the pastry on the sides.
  • Using a knife, create a few cuts on the top of the pastry to let out the steam.
  • Brush the pastry with milk or egg for a more golden colour.
  • Bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown
  • Once out of the oven, sprinkle with some more sugar for decoration.
Keyword afternoon tea, dessert, scottish, sweet treat, traybake
Emma

Emma

Hello!

I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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