My eldest son, H, is really into stew. This doesn’t necessarily translate to eating stew (although he is a bit partial to a goulash-style beef casserole) but he is right into the idea of it. He used to like helping me with the baking, but no longer, not unless it involves stew. I think this is because baking really just involves measuring and stirring (for his part), with the occasional egg-cracking. But in his mind, the wonder that is stew involves peeling, chopping, slicing, grating, all of the tough stuff that involves knives and which only big kids can do. Therefore, it is an irresistible proposition for him.
Usually I try to do some sort of cooking activity with H after I put the Bubaloo down for his nap; this gives us about 1.5 hours to do something fun. But lately H has been disinterested in baking with me – I lose out to the iPad (nap time means there is no competition for him). This week, the sound of a knife chopping vegetables was irresistible and it called him to the kitchen. I was preparing ingredients for pea and ham soup (I’ll post that recipe in a separate post, as it’s still on the stove – again, there is a back story), and H came in ‘Mummy, can I make something?’ ‘Sure, what do you want to make?’ ‘Stew!’ ‘Ok. What shall we start with?’ ‘Bananas’… So, it was never going to be an ordinary or traditional type of stew…
Three ripe bananas went into a bowl, then he got out the potato masher to give them a good squash. This kind of worked, but then he decided that stew needed more than one ingredient. ‘Muuummm! It needs apple. I want to squash some apple.’ After explaining that raw apple doesn’t really mash well, we decided to do some peeling and grating. After having an (aborted) attempt at peeling, then instructing me through the grating, followed by stirring the apple and banana together, it was decided that this was too onerous and playing with Lego was a better option. So off he went…
This left me with a quandary: what to do with the apple/banana ‘stew’? And so I decided to try and turn it into something. I just thought I’d experiment with different textures and flavours, with the aim of making something for afternoon tea. About halfway through, I asked H what he felt like: cookies or slice. And so ‘cookie slice’ was born.
I hope you like it. I think it was super delicious when it was warm from the oven, but then my partner came home and scoffed a ton of it after work (when it was cool) so I think it’s good either way. Oh, and the best part? There’s no added sugar!
Fruit stew cookie slice
You will need:
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 apple, grated (I used a large granny smith)
1 c. rolled oats
1 3/4 c. plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c currants (any dried fruit would do)
1/2 c coconut (I used shaved because that’s all I had)
1/2 c chocolate melts (I used white chocolate; optional or replaceable with dates)
60 g butter
2 tbsp rice malt or maple syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp boiling water
1. Preheat your oven to 180C
2. Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and stir in apple and banana. Mix as well as you can – it will probably look a bit clumpy.
3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat together with the rice malt syrup. When it’s melted, in a small cup, put bicarb soda then pour over the water. It’ll bubble a bit. Stir it into the butter mix; it will go quite frothy.
4. Stir into the dry ingredients until well combined. If it’s too wet, add a touch more flour.
5. Spoon into a lined slice tray. Smooth over the top.
6. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until it’s brown on top. The inside will stay quite moist because of the high fruit content.
7. Serve warm or cool.