Traditional English Apricot Flapjacks
or possibly the best flapjack recipe in the world.
These are what I made for the Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale. I chose them because they’re quick and easy, as English as the Queen (no bake sale in the UK would be complete without flapjacks, in fact the Queen probably has her own ‘go to’ recipe) but would probably be a novel taste experience for an American audience.
I believe that in the US a ‘flapjack’ is a type of pancake, but in the UK a flapjack is a squidgy, chewy bar a bit like a granola bar, full of oats and redolent with sugar and butter.
Their unique taste comes from the addition of ‘golden syrup', a traditional British cane sugar syrup with a distinctive buttery flavour. It’s becoming increasingly available in the US and we have found it here in Seattle at Metropolitan Market, Cost Plus World Market and at British food stores.
If you buy some it’s also absolutely delicious on pancakes and porridge as well as being used for lots of other traditional British recipes such as treacle tart. You could substitute corn syrup, honey or molasses at a pinch, but your flapjacks won’t taste quite the same.
This recipe comes from my mother-in-law by way of Waitrose I think (some British supermarket anyway) which I’ve adapted for American measures and temperatures etc. The thing I like about it is the inclusion of not-so-traditional sweetened condensed milk, which definitely ups the sticky squidgy factor.
1 1/2 sticks/6oz/170g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups/6oz/170g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
4 cups/12oz/340g rolled (old fashioned) porridge oats
6 oz/170g chopped dried apricots
Line a 13” x 9” pan with baking parchment and grease the paper with butter.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4.
In a saucepan gently heat the butter, sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Stir the chopped apricots into the oats until they’re evenly distributed and then stir in the sugary, buttery, syrupy liquid until all the oats are evenly coated.
Press the mixture into your prepared pan. There’s no need to press down too hard, but make sure the top is even.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. At the end your flapjacks will be slightly more golden, but won’t look much different from when they went into the oven.
Leave them to cool in the pan, then cut into 12-15 servings and devour.
Flapjacks are very tolerant creatures, so go to town with variations and additions. Try different dried fruits (raisins are very often used), nuts and seeds, coconut, glace cherries or even chocolate chips .
We had to wrap our offerings as well. Flapjacks are not the most aesthetically beautiful things (the pleasure is all in the munching) so I wrapped them with baking parchment sealed with Happytape (yes, the Husband took the anvil-sized on blog hint for Valentines Day).
Oh, and as predicted Megan Not Martha was the star of the bake sale with these.