Our allotment site is a great slice of society. The plot is surrounded by others tended by young working families, elderly couples, the unemployed, hard worked public sector workers; people of all races and creeds. It is a great and supportive community, and last night we shared on a bonfire celebration. Allotment holders from across the site got together and sat around a raging fire enjoying the local firework display, cider made from our own apples, and pizzas cooked on the wood burning pizza oven.
Wanting to contribute something to the proceedings, I decided to create a bonfire flapjack. As we still have quite a few windfall apples I chose to flavour it with them, and use some of the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds I’d collected last months. I often make River Cottage Honey and Peanut Butter Booster Bars, which used to be a big hit with my former colleagues. So I used the recipe as a basis for my Bonfire Apple Flapjack. To give it a more bonfire dark stickiness, I used dark muscovado sugar, and added a combination of grated and diced apple instead of huge dried fruits.
What you will need
125g unsalted butter
125g dark brown muscovado sugar
100g no-sugar-added crunchy peanut butter
75g honey, plus a little more to finish
Grated cooking apple
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
250g porridge oats (or the equivalent weight in oats and crushed leftover cereal)
A large apple peeled, cored and diced
100g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower)
Start by greasing and lining a baking tin, about 20cm square. Put the butter, sugar, peanut butter, honey, grated lemon zest and cooking apple in a deep saucepan over a low heat. Heat until the mixture is melted, stirring occasionally. Combine the oats, diced apple and most of the seeds into the melted butter mixture and stir until it’s thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture out evenly in the baking tin, smoothing the top as you go. Finally scatter the rest of the seeds over the surface and trickle with a little more honey. At this point I tend to use the palm of my hand to press down the mix slightly.
Pop the tin in an oven preheated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for about 30 minutes, until the flapjack is golden all over and slightly crispy on the edges. It’s really important that it is left to cool completely before turning out and cutting into squares with a sharp knife. As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall suggests in his original recipe; this is a tricky task, but the flapjack will cut much better if you can manage to hang on before devouring. The crispy oats contrast well with the soft sweet apples, and the muscovado sugar hints of toffee apples on a cold afternoon. A perfect treat to munch whilst watching fireworks and watching the dancing flames of a bonfire.