My grandmother’s orange square

Citrus slice dessert arranged on a plate

My entire family is obsessed with this simple slice. It’s nothing fancy and there are a hundred different versions of it floating around. You’ll probably find something similar in 90% of the café’s in Australia. But, for some reason, we can’t get enough of it and we’ve been coveting it (and scoffing it) for at least three generations! At many a Christmas it has caused scuffles and arguments over who will get the last piece – and this invariably ends with my Mum or one of my aunties making a second batch to appease the masses.

It’s possible we’ve gone a little bit too far. We’ve even given it its own ‘human’ name. Before you decide we’re completely crazy, here’s some context:

One Christmas a few years ago, my auntie sent a group text asking if we wanted her to make it and bring it with her (silly question). The auto-correct function that most phones have changed the word ‘slice’ to ‘Clive’. So, our favourite citrus slice is now known as Clive and ‘he’ is always included in any family event invitations. We’re constantly asking each other, “Are you bringing Clive?”

So, here’s what all the fuss is about…

Orange square (a.k.a, “Clive”)

Ingredients

Base

  • 2 packets of Marie biscuits
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 2 oranges (will need the rind – save the juice for the icing!)
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 1 tin condensed milk

Icing

  • 1- 2 cups icing sugar (dependent on how thick you like your icing)
  • 2 teaspoons very soft butter
  • Juice from one of the oranges
  • Hot water (optional)

Directions

  1. Crush the two packets of Marie biscuits – you can do this in a food processor or by putting the biscuits into a large ziplock bag and whacking it with a rolling pin! Alternatively, you can try what I used to do in my childhood (pre-ziplock bag invention) and put all the biscuits into a bowl and then use a glass jar to crush them. This method requires a bit of effort, but it can count as your daily arm workout! NOTE: You want the crumb to be chunky rather than a powder
  2. Grate the rind of the two oranges and set aside
  3. Add the 225g butter and the tin of condensed milk to a thick-bottomed pot and heat until melted and combined
  4. Add the butter and condensed milk mixture along with the orange rind and desiccated coconut to the biscuit crumb. Mix together until combined
  5. Press the mixture into a prepared slice pan/tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon until it’s even
  6. Put it in the fridge until it’s firm (approximately 2 hours if you can bear to wait that long – I never could)
  7. Mix the icing ingredients together until you find a consistency that you like. If it’s too firm, add some of the hot water to loosen it a little
  8. Once the base is cold, spread the icing over it, cut into squares and enjoy! Lastly, consider inviting me over if there’s enough to share ;)

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