Sunday, 7 October 2012

Recipe LXXIV - Traditional Flapjacks

Autumn has arrived quickly this year. In fact, I barely remember any summer at all, let alone doing much summer activity. There were hardly any apples on the tree in the garden and nearly nothing in the way of nuts either. I got a measly handful of strawberries and a plate's worth of peas. Better luck next year. However, the forsythias loved it, as did the wild flowers, who just want to grow anywhere. This is when traditionally people would put all their gathered fruit and nuts into conserves and make recipes from them that would last the winter, hence the mighty Plum Pudding, which was eaten as a Midwinter feast, and centrepiece of a winter solstice celebration that the longer days were on their way.

Flapjack has similar origins. The name is most certainly not, but the recipe would have been pretty much the same since its inception. The idea would have been to make a filling oaty cake to chew on for energy. Now, of course, it's more like an accompaniment for an autumn party. I remember being regaled with flapjacks at the annual Bonfire Night celebrations at the beginning of November. I used to get told off by my mother for eating too many... But now I'm old enough, I can make as many as I like and eat them all. So there!

500g oats - usually jumbo oats, but for mine I used the smaller variety
250g demerara sugar
200g raisins, sultanas, etc
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
1 table spoon of cinnamon
250g butter
The peel of one orange
A large, square or rectangular baking tray

Heat the oven to about 175°C.
Put the raisins and sultanas into the oats and give it a good mix. Take the baking tray and grease the inside with the butter. With the rest of the butter, put it into a large pan and on a low heat melt it. Add the sugar, orange peel, cinnamon and syrup to the mixture and heat it gently until the sugar has melted.

Pour the oats, raisins and sultanas into the melted butter and allow the oats to soak up the liquid until there is a good consistency.

Put them into the baking tray and spread them out evenly until they reach all four corners.

Bake in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cut it into pieces immediately, because it's still quite soft.

Serve with a nice cup of tea.

Put the rest in a biscuit tin and eat at your leisure!

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