Pear, ginger and raw honey flapjacks
Anyone 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
- 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
- Heat the oven to 180 C and put a baking tray into heat up. Grease a non-stick, 20 cm square baking tin.
- 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.
- Add the other ingredients and fold together with a wooden spoon. Tip the mixture into the baking tin and level the surface.
- 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.
- 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.
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?