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Pear, ginger and raw honey flapjacks

August 31, 2014

Pear, ginger and raw honey flapjack recipe on mycustardpie.comAnyone else find that you bring excess baggage back in more places than your suitcase? I’m in danger of developing a serious muffin top and it’s got to go.  I’ve had a wonderful time back in my home country enjoying a really beautiful English summer buy number one on my list since I returned is ‘eat more salad’. Why am I sharing a flapjack recipe? The problem with wonderful thing about flapjacks is that they are folded together with delicious, sticky, rich golden syrup.

Going away for a while makes me look at my house, life and routine with a fresh pair of eyes. I’m on a mission to do a radical clear out. This means ditching old clothes, deleting computer files, donating old books and whittling down the stuff on my kitchen shelves.

KP is the ruthless, organised one in our house. I inherited a strong hoarding gene from both my parents and find it hard to let go of things. We both agree on the topic of minimising food waste though and left-overs are a regular feature on the weekly menu. Some disappointing pears needed to be dealt with, a banana was turning to the dark side and a bulk purchase of oats was toppling out of the cupboard. I’d read about using banana as a binding agent for biscuits so I thought I’d try it out. Now I’m not claiming that these flapjacks are healthier than salad but they are held together with banana, nut butter and raw honey; there is no other added sugar apart from a wee, drizzle of ginger jar syrup (which is optional). They are moist, slightly less sticky and a lot less tooth-achingly sweet than your average flapjack.

Using raw honey is important – I don’t buy any other kind now. Most honey in the supermarket is flash pasteurised with heat which robs it of the most important nutrients. Bulk producers also treat their bees with antibiotics to make them live longer and feed them sugar solution so the bees will produce more.  My first choice is Balqees from Yemen, which is collected by nomadic beekeepers from wild bees that collect pollen from remote areas not affected by industrial agriculture (which Yemen has little of). The taste is rich and toffee like – perfect for flapjacks. UAE local honey is also good (available from The Farmhouse) but it has a much stronger, less refined taste. Or use whatever local, raw honey you can get your hands on.

These flapjacks are very easy to make. Just the thing to have as a reward after the plank challenge or 7 minute workout (yes things are that bad)…. or with a nice cup of tea. The mug in the picture is designed by artist Elaine Pamphilon; her naive-style art follows in the style of Alfred Wallis, a painter from St Ives whose work hangs in the Tate there. Using the mug today reminded me of our last visit to St Ives and the glorious Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. It’s such a tranquil place despite many visitors, a calm, soothing feeling comes over me just thinking about it. We went when the teens were at an age where they were totally disparaging about the modern sculptures. I do hope they grow to love them as much as I do. Otherwise I’ll just have to bribe them with tea and flapjacks.

Pear, ginger and raw honey flapjacks

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 50g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
  • 6 tablespoons of nut butter (I used cashew butter made in the Vitamix)
  • 6 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 ripe pears, grated
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped (plus 2 teaspoons of ginger syrup – optional)
  • 250g oats (rolled or jumbo)
  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 25g sesame seeds

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180 C and put a baking tray into heat up. Grease a non-stick, 20 cm square baking tin.
  2. Put the butter and nut butter into a non-stick pan and heat gently to melt. Add the raw honey and stir to combine. Take off the heat.
  3. Add the other ingredients and fold together with a wooden spoon. Tip the mixture into the baking tin and level the surface.
  4. Place on the heated baking tray and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to 160 C and bake for a further 55-60 minutes until the flapjack turns golden brown and is cooked through.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a board and cut into 16 pieces. Store in a tin at room temperature for 1 day or up to 4 in the fridge.

Variation: You can use any combination of seeds that you like.

Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden - mycustardpie.com

If you live outside the UK, a flapjack might mean something completely different to you. These are ‘British flapjacks’ which was a staple in our lunch boxes when I was growing up. My Mum would say ‘this will stick to your ribs’ which describes the gooey-er kind made with syrup. You might like to try my recipe for date flapjacks, one that uses fresh blueberries on Tinned Tomatoes, chocolate drizzle flapjacks on Fab Food 4 All or these apple and cinnamon flapjacks on Botanical Baker. With pears just coming into season here in the wider Middle East I’ve entered this for Simple and in Season hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary this month (for Ren Behan).

Have you been away this summer? Do you feel the urge to change things when you get back? What does ‘flapjack’ mean to you?

48 Comments
  1. August 31, 2014 9:10 am

    Those look delicious and the pictures are beautiful! Can’t wait to try. I know what you mean… a steady diet of Mexican food and margaritas this summer did a number on my waistline! I also find that restaurants are a convenient place to meet friends who you haven’t seen in a long time… more over-eating and drinking ensue. Ack!!

    • September 1, 2014 8:27 am

      Wine and comfort food… in gorgeous pubs and restaurants …with good friends and family… our summers have a lot in common :)

  2. August 31, 2014 9:33 am

    We need to have a Balqees honey tasting outing, Sally, because I am thoroughly intimidated by all those beautiful glass bowls and the different colors of honey. I don’t know where to start and since it’s not cheap, I want to make the right decision! On the other hand, your flapjacks look like a good decision any day.

    • September 1, 2014 8:31 am

      You’re on Stacy! But don’t be intimidated – the Balqees staff are so nice …they won’t let you NOT taste them all.

      • September 1, 2014 1:21 pm

        Good to know. I will try to be brave but I would love to go with you some day so you can show me your favorites and why.

      • September 1, 2014 8:43 pm

        We’re going

  3. August 31, 2014 10:10 am

    I always come home from a holiday with excess baggage, part of my cultural curiosity I guess and food is such an integral part of a cultural experience afterall! Oh well, that’s just an excuse. We loved St Ives when we visited, AND English flapjacks!

    • September 1, 2014 8:36 am

      I couldn’t agree more about food being part of the whole cultural experience – even in your own country. St Ives gets a bit much in peak season as it’s so crowded but love the park and ride train, the Tate and of course this gallery.

  4. August 31, 2014 11:51 am

    I love purging and sorting cupboards – it soothes my soul and gets me back on track if you will. Hmm, a bit worrying then that I do it quite regularly.
    Aah yes, the excess holiday baggage – not sure any of us can get away with that. It always seems harder after each trip to get rid of. Oh well, we only live once.
    Our flapjacks are very different to this – think we would call these granola bars. Who cares what you call them, they look absolutely scrumptious!
    Have a wonderful week ahead Sally. :-) Mandy xo

    • September 1, 2014 8:37 am

      You can come and do mine any time Mandy :) Interested what your flapjacks are like?

  5. glamorous glutton permalink
    August 31, 2014 12:01 pm

    This is the only kind of flapjack I know. What’s the other kind? These look delicious and have made me want to search out raw honey. Love the sculpture photos. GG

    • September 1, 2014 8:38 am

      In the US they are a kind of pancake apparently. Yep – that’s just weird to me :)

  6. August 31, 2014 12:37 pm

    I love flapjacks. They are so addictive and delicious. Yours look marvelous and sound divine!

    Beautiful sculptures. So harmonious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • September 1, 2014 8:38 am

      Thanks Rosa – I love Barbara’s studio… so peaceful.

  7. August 31, 2014 2:26 pm

    I am a bit of a flapjack addict so I try not to make them too often. Though if I make these healthier flapjacks that means I can eat more of them :D

    I’ve never tried raw honey, I can imagine that it gives the flapjacks a wonderful flavour though.

    • September 1, 2014 8:44 am

      Real raw honey is a revelation. The texture is quite different and it’s not too sweet if that’s possible in a honey.

  8. August 31, 2014 2:26 pm

    I love flapjacks too. They are definitely a healthy treat. I often add banana or carrots to mine. Didn’t know that about honey. Now I shall have to look for raw. Thanks for linking to my flapjacks.

    • September 1, 2014 8:46 am

      This banana thing is new to me but you are obviously way ahead of me Jac. The commercial changes to honey is a scandal by stealth – everyone thinks honey is natural but most of it is not at all.

  9. August 31, 2014 3:10 pm

    Pinned! I ADORE flapjacks and have all the ingredients and am going to try this out this afternoon. Just up my street. I love the idea of using banana to bind them. Your Balquees honey sounds intriguing… Maybe you could replace your budding muffin top with a flapjack top? ;-)

    • September 1, 2014 8:47 am

      Yes! I aspire to a flapjack top…. a lot of work to get there. Let me know how you get on. Watch them as they bake – ovens vary so much. Check after 45 mins.

  10. August 31, 2014 4:44 pm

    Missed your posts Sally! Gorgeous photo of the flapjacks… and you have convinced me to switch to raw honey!

    • September 1, 2014 8:48 am

      There was rather a long gap after the simple and in season round up…. I think I wore myself out! Raw honey is the way to go – it the US much of the honey is adulterated with sugar syrup too.

  11. August 31, 2014 4:48 pm

    Hi Sally! I just adore your blog, and exciting to see so many posts for me to catch up on. I’ve been quiet on my blog for several months (or more!), and it’s great to be back to blogging (I finally got a new post up Friday). I’ll be blogging regularly from here out, and excited that my 15 year old daughter is jumping on board with her photo editing skills!

    It looks like you had an amazing summer. I’m definitely quite jealous of where you spend your summers as I have never been! :) Always love your recipes and reading your posts with a cup of tea. Thanks for sharing!!

    • September 1, 2014 8:54 am

      Hi Denise – what a generous comment. I wish I could get my teen to edit my photos (the most tedious bit). I do love my summers – rain or shine. I’m scrolling through all my pics now and we did have a special time with friends and family. Cup of tea is essential – have one in hand now as I navigate over to your site….glad you are back to blogging.

  12. August 31, 2014 5:13 pm

    Oh heavens these look lovely! Flapjacks aren’t something I ever make, for some reason. I never grew up with them, so perhaps that’s it. I really ought to remedy that! What a lovely recipe and thank you for lining up with Simple and in Season :)

    • September 1, 2014 8:55 am

      They are really easy to make Elizabeth. Bravo for taking the reins of Ren’s epic event.

  13. September 1, 2014 12:36 am

    Ooh I love all the flavours here and even a lovely banana too – just fabulous and healthy:-) Thank you for linking my Flapjacks too:-)

    • September 1, 2014 8:55 am

      Your recipe and post took me down memory lane Camilla

  14. September 1, 2014 3:26 am

    I love the way an organized space feels. These flapjacks look so wholesome!

    • September 1, 2014 8:56 am

      So do I – although a lot of my space isn’t!

  15. September 1, 2014 3:52 am

    What a great post. I did not grow up with flapjacks (S Africans grew up with crunchies which are a crisper and less chewy version of a near-identical recipe) but have learnt to love them here in the UK. I love the addition of ginger syrup here! I have not been on summer hols yet, but since my accident I have been on a mission to declutter, use up and generally stop procrastinating…

    • September 1, 2014 8:57 am

      Can’t imagine you as a procrastinator Jeanne. Hope you are really on the mend now. Must research SA crunchies.

  16. September 1, 2014 10:50 am

    Welcome home! I have had Abu Dhabi visiting me during August and my Mum is keep to follow your blog and receive any news of any events that you have going on ;)

    • September 1, 2014 11:36 am

      Thanks. Most of my events involved walking boots and green fields Elaine :)

      • September 1, 2014 11:37 am

        Ha ha! She just wants to keep abreast on whatever is going on in Dubai that she might get involved with x

  17. ramblingtart permalink
    September 1, 2014 10:55 am

    The Yemeni honey sounds absolutely incredible! My hubs and I are hoping to get bees of our own within the year. I’m really, really looking forward to eating the lovely honey. :-)

    • September 1, 2014 11:37 am

      Can’t wait to read all about your bees – so exciting. I’d love to do that.

  18. September 1, 2014 2:14 pm

    I must try these flapjacks! I have never tasted one. Did you know, that not only should you eat raw honey, but it should come from hives as close to where you live as possible? I am losing weight in preparation for our visit to France this month :)

    • September 1, 2014 8:43 pm

      Great for allergies. Have a wonderful time in France.

  19. September 2, 2014 4:42 pm

    I love flapjacks, especially ones made with honey instead of golden syrup. What a brilliant way to use up any extra fruit that’s on the turn.

    • September 12, 2014 9:37 pm

      Thanks Jenny – love a bit of hidden fruit

  20. September 4, 2014 2:30 pm

    These look lovely Sally, thanks for entering them into SaiS. Great for the children’s snack time.

  21. September 6, 2014 6:42 pm

    These flapjacks look delicious! I know what you mean about having the hoarding gene…it’s in me too. My husband is the organized one.

    • September 12, 2014 8:56 pm

      I hope he isn’t as bad as KP who throws so many clothes out that he’s left with almost nothing!

  22. September 8, 2014 4:23 am

    I chuckled at your plank exercising and 7 minute workouts, but actually I think I need to head that way soon..after your golden, ginger-warm and pear sweet delights. Just lovely x

    • September 12, 2014 8:55 pm

      Doing quite well with the 7 minute app – although it got ditched this weekend as my exercise was walking for miles and miles.

  23. Lauren Hairston permalink
    September 13, 2014 12:17 am

    Love flapjacks! It’s definitely been too long since I made any. (Almost a year!) I’ve actually picked up some local honey from the gun range, of all places. Thankfully, one of our health-food stores has started carrying the same brand, because Lauren and guns are not a good combination! I am seriously terrified of using handguns, but that’s another story altogether…

    P.S. I have a difficult time getting rid of things, too. I actually bought a bunch of Kindle books on organizing to read on the flight back. I was all motivated and then I got home and realized, “this is really hard!”

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