Gevulde Botterkoek

A rich butter shortbread filled with a sweet raisin, almond and lemon-flavoured mixture, Gevulde Botterkoek (gh’-fill-deh boo-tairr-cook) is a delicious pastry cake adapted from a Dutch recipe. Serve it on its own as a dessert, or with tea or coffee.


10 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, slightly softened

6 oz. plus

1 tablespoon castor sugar

1 egg yolk

8 oz. flour

6 oz. fine semolina or rice flour

2 tablespoons double cream

8 oz. castor sugar

6 oz. ground almonds

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon almond essence

5 fl. oz. double cream grated rind of 1 lemon 2 oz. sultanas or raisins 2 oz. almonds, chopped

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Grease an 8-inch cake tin with a removable base with the teaspoon of butter and set it aside.

To make the shortbread, place the remaining butter and 6 ounces of the sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon, beat the ingredients together until the mixture is light and smooth.

Stir in the egg yolk. Sift in the flours, or the flour and semolina. Add the cream. With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth and thick enough to roll out. If the dough is too dry, add a little more cream. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the sugar and ground almonds. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, almond essence, cream and lemon rind. With your hands, mix the ingredients together, gradually drawing the ground almond mixture into the liquid. Knead the mixture until it is smooth and forms a smooth evenly coloured paste. Mix in the sultanas or raisins and the almonds. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrig-erator and divide it in half. On a floured pastry board or surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out one-half of the dough to a circle approximately J- to |-inch thick and 9 inches in diameter. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it over the prepared cake tin. Ease the dough into the tin, trimming off any excess dough with a knife.

Spoon the almond filling into the pastry case, smoothing it out evenly with a flat-bladed knife. Set aside.

Roll out the remaining dough to a circle approximately – to -i-inch thick and 8 inches in diameter. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it on top of the filling. With a knife, trim off any excess dough. With your fingers, lightly press the outer edge of the dough down to seal the edges. Lightly prick the top all over with a fork. Sprinkle on the tablespoon of castor sugar.

Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and firm to the touch.

Remove the tin from the oven. Allow the cake to cool completely before carefully removing it from the tin.