Monday, 19 November 2007

Don't Get in a Flap, Jack!

Flapjacks are one of those easy traybakes that are so useful to have around, for childrens' snacks, hungry moments with a cup of tea or eats when friends come round. They keep well in an airtight tin and I've never met anyone who doesn't like them. Plus, as oats are now regarded as a 'superfood', we can consider them health food (while quickly glossing over the butter and sugar content, hehehe).

The one thing I think you really do need to bake flapjacks successfully is a non-stick baking tin. You still have to grease it, but it does away with the hassle of lining a tin and the immense irritation of flapjacks which collapse when you try to slice them. I've had to turn more than one batch into Peach & Flapjack Trifle.


250g butter
175g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
350g rolled oats

Melt the butter, sugar and treacle together in a large pan over a medium heat, stirring well to combine until smooth, dark and glossy. Mix in the oats, making sure that they are all fully coated. Tip into a small greased non-stick baking tin and level the surface, as best you can, with the back of a spoon. Bake fo 20 minutes at 150°c. Mark out squares or bars on the surface, then allow the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin, before slicing.

You can vary flapjack easily with sultanas or chopped glacé cherries stired in with the oats. A chocolate topping is also nice once in a while (pour over 150g melted chocolate when you remove the tin from the oven, then mark out squares once the chocolate is semi-set).

I also finally got around to defrosting the damsons and making some jam. Our neighbour's tree rains damsons onto our lawn every year, but I never have time to make the jam when the damsons are in season. This year I froze the fruit, then added a little lemon juice to make up for any pectin lost during freezing. I've also got a huge box of blackberries in the freezer for jam, so I'd better do that soon; I need the freezer space!

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