I've never had much success making flapjack. Although perhaps that's because I've only tried once. I think I used Nigella's recipe from Domestic Goddess, and remember being distinctly underwhelmed by the result. I don't know why I haven't tried again, perhaps with another recipe, because I think a good flapjack is hard to beat. For me they have to be chewy and soft; just holding together, but not hard and crunchy. Flapjack nirvana!
Well now I have managed to make the perfect flapjack, and even better it's part of a luscious Autumnal pudding.
I stumbled upon this recipe in the Sunday Times magazine several weeks ago. It's by Lucas Hollweg, who I believe has a new cookbook out. I've never been a huge fan of a traditional crumble topping, but the idea of a flapjack crumble sounded wonderful to me, so when I saw plums for sale on Salisbury Market I knew I had to try.
I followed the recipe to the letter and the result was simply delicious - squidgy soft flapjack with the gingery fruit bubbling through. It was fabulous hot, but I couldn't stop myself taking a teaspoon to the fridge throughout the following day to nibble away at it cold!
I've since made the same topping to go on a base of gingery stewed rhubarb, and can report that it was similarly successful.
I think this is a recipe that I'll be using time and time again.
Lucas Hollweg's Plum and Ginger Flapjack Crumble
Serves 6 (generously)
750g (1lb 10oz) plums, halved, stones removed
2 balls of stem ginger, roughly chopped, plus 2 tbsp of syrup from the jar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
150g (5½oz) butter, plus a knob extra
175g (6oz) demerara sugar
100g (3½oz) porridge oats
125g (4½oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp golden syrup
5 tbsp double cream
Put the plums in a saucepan with the ginger and ginger syrup, plus the
cinnamon and a knob of butter. Heat gently for a few minutes, until the
plums have started to soften.
Preheat the oven to
180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Put the plums in an ovenproof gratin dish (about
23 x 23cm/9 x 9 in and about 5–6cm/2–2½in deep), then sprinkle with 2
tablespoons of the sugar.
In a bowl, mix together the oats, the
remaining sugar and the flour. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Now add
the golden syrup and cream and mix well. Tip onto the oat mixture and
stir together. Spoon on top of the fruit, level out in a thin even layer
about 1cm (½in) thick – try not to make it any thicker, or it may not
cook through. Put in the oven and bake for 40–45 minutes, or until set
and golden brown.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes before eating so
the top can set a little (this also prevents you from burning your
tongue). Cream or vanilla ice cream are the obvious partners in crime.