Zesty Flapjacks

Based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.


2 oranges
200g dried sour cherries
200g golden syrup (about 8 tbsp)
400g unsalted butter
200g soft brown sugar
Zest and juice of a lemon
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
500g jumbo oats
200g plain flour
100g pine nuts
100g flaked almonds
2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
About half a tsp of ground Allspice

I’ve never made flapjacks before, all I knew was that some are made with raisins and some aren’t. The recipe above did have raisins in it, which I changed to dried sour cherries because I really don’t like raisins. I also added some Allspice to it and I split the weight of the pine nuts between flaked almonds and pine nuts and added a couple of tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts to it for extra crunch. The recipe is for a large sheet pan and I got 16 flapjacks out of it. The original recipe calls for Gas Mark 3 and 25-30 minutes. My oven has a mind of its own, so after 35 minutes I upped the temperature and all in all the flapjacks were in for almost 50 minutes.
Here’s how to make them:
Preheat the oven to 170°c/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 23cm square baking tin with a scrap of butter and line the base with baking parchment.
Grate the zest from the oranges and one lemon into a large saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the orange and put this in a small saucepan with the sour cherries. Bring to a gentle simmer. Remove the pan from the heat but leave it in a warm place for the sour cherries to plump up in the orange juice.
Add the golden syrup to the large saucepan containing the orange zest. Add the butter, brown sugar and lemon juice. Heat very gently, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Mix the oats, flour and nuts. Pour the oat mixture into the saucepan containing the melted butter mixture and add the sour cherries, along with any juice left in the pan. Mix everything very thoroughly (otherwise it can taste slightly floury). 
Spread the mixture out in the lined tin. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Leave for a few minutes, then mark the flapjack into squares with a knife. Leave to cool and set.
At first I was a bit unsure… they tasted ever so slightly floury so next time I make them I will use less flour. I was also thinking about brushing one side of them with dark chocolate just to add another flavour to it.
They were very well received by everyone and a lot of people commented on how the orange zest seemed to “make them”!

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