I have also decided to tie in with my very first attempt at blogger participation, by making something for the September Tea Time Treats Challenge, which this month is being hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage (who runs this monthly event alongside Kate at What Kate Baked). Not having done any challenges before, I have to admit that I am a little apprehensive, but also quite excited at making some connections with the more experienced blogging world. As I have been blogging for about 6 months now, I reckon it's about time to break the boundaries of my comfort zone and dip my toe in the blog-challenge pond..............
As luck would have it, this months Tea Time Treats Challenge theme is Flapjacks, Oats and Tray Bakes, which just happens to be what I am making this week.............. Flapjacks!
So back to the school bit........... we are incredibly lucky that our daughter attends a primary school that makes their lunches fresh on site and that the staff are more than willing to accommodate her gluten free dietary needs. They adapt their weekly menus to ensure gluten free main course portions, which on occasion, includes making a meal for one amongst the other hundreds that they are preparing. They are absolute stars and I can't thank them enough.
To make sure that my daughter fits in as much as possible, I provide the kitchen with pudding portions for those days when there are sponges, biscuits or tarts on the menu. I cross-check the option for all the other kids and on Monday, send in a box of gluten free equivalents for the week.
One of the puddings which appears on the menu every term without fail is flapjack, which of course, is made with oats. Although flapjack is generally made without the obvious gluten 'offenders' - wheat, barley and rye, the oats that are widely available in the supermarket are not gluten free. This is because of the significant risk of cross-contamination from growing in fields which have been used to produce gluten-containing crops, as well as subsequent milling processes. Because of this, I always make a special batch of gluten-free flapjack (with certified gluten free oats) to send in for school lunch.
This term, I have made a delicious end of summer flapjack, filled with roasted strawberries, blueberries and plums. It is less sticky than some flapjacks and quite firm in texture. Not oversweet, but bursting with fruity, tangy lusciousness. When you eat this flapjack it feels healthy! Creamy oats combined with nutty almonds, honey and brown sugar, all mingling with the deep roasted natural sweetness of fresh summer and autumn fruit with a warming hint of cinnamon.
Even the colour is fruity....... Pinky-mauve hues and flecks of red and purple in amongst that bumpy, oaty surface that just shouts 'eat me'.
Feeling like trying something new, I even tried a different angle on the photos! Is it just me, or does this look like we are heading for 'flapjack wars'?
Roasted End of Summer Fruitapprox 450g strawberries
approx. 100g blueberries
a few plums
large drizzle of honey (about 3 tablespoons)
sprinkle of brown sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or 1 teaspoon cinnamon extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 200⁰ C / 400⁰ F / Gas 6.
- Hull the strawberries and cut into halves or quarters.
- Remove the stones from the plums and cut into quarters (leave the skin on)
- Line the base of a large oven proof dish with foil so that the juices from the cooking are contained.
- Put all the fruit into the dish, drizzle the honey and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the top.
- Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until the tops of the fruit are browning slightly.
- When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the foil.
End of Summer Roasted Fruit Flapjack
Ingredients320g GF oats
120g ground almonds
80g GF oat flour (easy to make at home as in this post)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon190g unsalted butter
100g soft light brown sugar
70g golden syrup
70g clear runny honey
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt300g roasted summer fruit (weight including juice) made as above.
- Base line a 23 cm/9 inch square loose-bottomed cake tin (at least 5cm/2inch deep) with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4.
- Weigh the oats, almonds, oat flour and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside.
- Put the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup, honey and salt into a medium saucepan and heat on a low heat, stirring frequently until the butter has melted, the sugar has completely dissolved and all ingredients are fully combined. Do not let the mixture boil.
- Pour the melted butter-sugar mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir well until all the dry ingredients are well-coated.
- Add the roasted fruit and gently fold into the oat mixture, trying to keep some of the fruit intact as 'pieces'.
- Spoon the mixture into the baking tin, ensuring it is pushed into the corners and smooth the top evenly.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden with the edges just turning a little darker.
- Whilst still warm, turn out onto a clean chopping surface and cut into pieces, before leaving to cool completely.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated