I always love to learn new things about, Britain. Anything about their culture, customs, country and even... well maybe especially, their cuisine. Yesterday, I learned something new and wanted to share it with you. And I am wondering, am I the only one that did not know this? It seems so basic and yet I completely missed it. If I had gone to England, and ordered a Flapjack, I would have been either surprised or certain the waitress did not hear or understand me - or both. I would have been expecting a somewhat thin pancake, larger than the average... maybe 8 - 12 inches in diameter, with a little crispness on the outsides, that was done on a griddle. The whole point of the word “flap” in Flapjack, is that it is flapped over. Well, in reading some of the recipes on Barbara’s blog, I was really surprised to find that in England, that is not what a Flapjack is. Her recipe resembled what I might have guessed to be a granola bar. This is a picture of her Flapjacks at tea time. After doing a little digging, I found that English Flapjacks are made from oats, butter, sugar and a form of syrup like sugar. I did find recipes that had nuts, other dried fruits (I made Barbara’s and there were dried apricots in that recipe), and even chocolate. They are not like a granola bar, even though the ingredients suggest that. They are somewhat chewy and very decadent. Addictive even.
Before I go any further, I want to tell you that the golden syrup referred to in this, and other British recipes is referring to something different than is typically sold here in the States. I happen to have access to a grocer that has a small display of British foods, mostly condiments. That store has a golden syrup just like what is used in Flapjack recipes. It is called, Lyle's Golden Syrup. Oh, and there in nothing like that golden syrup..... yum!! We use it in tea, and on toast. It is that green and gold can on my counter in some of the photos of my baking. But, here in the states, if you have no access to a golden syrup, use corn syrup like, Karo. I imagine light or dark is personal preference. If you looked at Barbara's recipe, you saw "demerara or brown sugar" listed as ingredients. Demerara sugar's closest equivalent would be our light brown sugar. Brown sugar in a British recipe I believe is closer to our dark brown sugar.
I just received a comment from Barbara. In the event you do not read her comment I wanted to add it here. I stand corrected on the Demerara sugar. What I thought I read on the websites I read about English cooking and their ingredients, I either misinterpreted, or just did not understand. She is English, and would know. I want you to get it straight from her, so here is a that portion of her comment to this post.
"For your information Demerara sugar is very different to light brown sugar in both texture and flavour. It is mainly used here in coffee as it sweetens the coffee without altering its flavour like a brown sugar would. We do also use it in cooking as we do light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and Mollasses sugar which is even darker. We would NEVER put any of this in tea."
I am going to repost the recipe with all U.S. conversions.
Sticky Apricot Flapjack
Preheat oven to 425°. Grease an 8" cake pan. I used butter flavored non-stick spray.
1 stick butter
5 tablespoons golden syrup
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar (I did use the dark)
2 cups oats
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.
Put butter and 4 tablespoons of the syrup into pan with sugar and heat gently until melted.
Stir in oats and apricots and mix well. Spoon into cake pan and smooth top.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden.
Once baked, remove from oven and while still warm mark into square (be sure to make these marks down to the pan or getting them out might be difficult. Melt remaining syrup and add lemon juice (I did this in a small cup in the microwave). Pour over the flapjack and leave to cool.
I was amazed at how delicious these were! I was a little skeptical of the lemon juice, and all of you know I love lemon. But oh!!! what a wonderful little note of flavor the lemon gives. They would not be as good without it.
Here the Flapjack is in the tin. (or cake pan)
As long as this has to do with British fare, I thought I would share something else with you. Some time ago, I discovered a tea offered by Tetley, called, British Blend. The name got my attention, but looking at the box I noticed three other things I liked. First, it did say, "A rich, full bodied blend". I really do not like troubled water that is passed off as tea. I like "full bodied" flavor. Second, there are 2.5 grams of tea in each bag rather than the 2 grams in most brands. That would give the "full bodied" flavor a little more kick. And last, the bags are round, tagless and fit right in the bottom of a cup or mug, rather than having strings that can be messy. So I bought the tea. I really like it. It is full bodied, the flavor itself is very good-I actually like it as much as I do some loose leaf teas, and the round bag is quite nice. I am pleased to tell you, this tea is not bitter at all as some bagged tea can be. If you like full bodied tea, try this. I think you will like it. Oh, and it is great with the Flapjack above. :-)
Please forgive the lack of a photo of the finished product. This is one post I can not seem to find the rest of the photos for after the loss of so many photos on my blog when Picassa deleted them when I deleted them out of my Google+ account, not knowing they would be permanently deleted from my blog. I was thankful to just find the photo above.