Portion/Yield:Makes 18 pieces
I enjoy baking and cooking with gooseberries, but at first, I found them difficult to understand because I had not come across gooseberries before I came to Europe. I found that they tended to collapse as soon as they saw heat and so I had to learn how to use them. I do like their tartness and versatility though, plus the fact that they are suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes.
Flapjacks are a great pick-me-up to have in your lunchbox, ideal for when the hunger monster strikes mid-afternoon and there are still a couple of hours of work to get through. If you can manage to save one for later, a flapjack also provides the perfect homemade nibble to enjoy as you make your way home from work during the evening rush hour. These flapjacks are also great for days when you need a quick breakfast on the run.
You don’t have to wait until the gooseberry season arrives before you can bake these tasty flapjacks either. Substitute the gooseberries for other fresh fruits such as strawberries, apples, apricots or plums. Dried fruits also work a treat.
Ingredients & Method
- 30g sunflower seeds
- 30g pumpkin seeds
- 50g whole hazelnuts
- 250g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 300g fresh gooseberries
- 500g jumbo oats
- a pinch of table salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Grease and line a 32 x 22 x 3.5cm baking tin with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
Spread the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 5–6 minutes or until golden brown and lightly toasted, but not burned or too dark – remember nuts and seeds burn very quickly. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/Gas Mark 3.
Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a large saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring until the mixture is melted and combined. Remove from the heat. Top, tail and wash the gooseberries and add to the melted mixture, together with the oats, salt and the toasted seeds and hazelnuts, mixing well to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin, pressing level with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown. The warm flapjack mixture will still be slightly soft when you press it with your finger, but it will become firmer as it cools. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin, then turn out and cut into 18 bars.
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 1 week.