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Gluten free foraged fruit flapjack recipe

Learn how to make home made, additive free, seasonal gluten free flapjack

Hi there,

‘Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness here at lovely Naish Farm in Dorset. The hedgerows around Honeybuns bakery are now laden with wild blackberries, damsons, apples and hazelnuts. It’s the perfect time to get out into the late Autumn sunshine and forage for some of these nutritious goodies.

Walnuts growing on hedgerow

My top foraging tips would be to:

  • avoid anything likely to have been sprayed with pesticides, so give the margins of farmed fields a miss. Instead pick from hedges and trees alongside footpaths.
  • Pick fruit and nuts above your waist height - you don’t want anything with dog pee on!
  • Wash everything thoroughly once you get home.

This recipe is adapted from the original version featured in our Honeybuns Gluten-free baking book. I’ve simplified the ingredients and converted it to vegan and dairy free. There are plenty of seasonal fruits and nuts you can choose from to make this cake.

Honeybuns Gluten free Cook Book open on Hedgerow flapjack recipe

Hazelnuts and blackberries were my preferred choice this time though I have also made it using chopped up plums and apples.

This home made flapjack is a delicious hybrid of biscuit-flapjack-crumble layers and is utterly irrestible. I recommend leaving the fruit filling just as it is with no added sugar. This way you get a fab contrast of tart fruit and the sweetness of the crumble topping. This tray bake delivers on flavour and texture and can be served warm as a pudding or try portioning up and using in packed lunch boxes.

Have a look through the FAQs below before you get started for hints and tips.

Take a look at Em's bake-along video 

You can bake-along with me if you prefer. For a step-by-step visual guide to making the traybake, please do check out my live bake-along video below.

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Or if you fancy a home baking session, you can follow the recipe we’ve included below.

How quick is this vegan flapjack recipe to make?

To melt and mix your ingredients it will take around 10 minutes plus 25 mins baking time.

So it’s quick and super easy. Why not try baking this one with the kids?

What is special about this gluten free hedgerow recipe?

  1. This flapjack is economical to make, especially if you can forage some of the ingredients for free!
  2. This flapjack is naturally gluten free, dairy free and vegan. If you wish you can also adapt it to be nut free too.
  3. By baking this hedgerow recipe you are celebrating the beautiful British countryside. Foraging is enjoying something of a renaissance and is a great way to get up close to nature and learn more about our ancient hedgerows. So go explore, forage and bake.

How best do I serve this fruit crumble tray bake?

  1. Serve warm from the oven with a dairy free, vegan ice cream or fruit coulis.
  2. Allow to cool, cut into portions, create a stack on a pretty serving plate and decorate with hedgerow flowers, fruits and nuts for an Autumn birthday or celebration cake.
  3. Allow to cool then portion up and freeze. You can then thaw individual slices for lunch boxes or snacks.

Is this gluten free flapjack recipe healthy?

With relatively high levels of sugar and fat, this flapjack is best regarded as a treat rather than an every day staple. That said, compared to shop bought cakes, this recipe delivers on high fibre content and vitamins from the nuts and fruit. There are no nasty additives and it’s naturally gluten free, vegan and dairy free.

Here are some nutritional facts on blackberries and hazelnuts:

Blackberries: Containing vitamins A,C, E and B; blackberries are the foodie’s equivalent to a HIIT session. According to the BBC Good Food website, they are also rich in anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants.

Hazelnuts: Quoting from the www.nutrition-and-you.com website, “Hazel nuts are an excellent source of vitamin-E; contain about 15g per 100g (providing 100% of RDA). Vitamin-E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting it from harmful 'free oxygen radicals'."

So not only do hazelnuts taste fantastic, they can also be incorporated into your beauty regime for a glowing and moisturised complexion. Do we need a better reason to start baking?

Can I substitute ingredients to make it a nut free recipe?

Yes you can. This recipe is super versatile. Any seasonal fruit can be used either fresh, dried or frozen. Those mixed frozen berry mixes from supermarkets or farm shops work well if you don’t have fresh fruit to hand. You can try all manner of fruits and berries and I’ve listed swap suggestions in the recipe. If you want to make this recipe nut free I’ve include suggestions in the recipe as well. Happy baking.

How long will my gluten free and vegan flapjack last for?

Kept in an airtight tin your flapjack will last for 5 days. It will last longer - say 8 days if you use dried fruit rather than fresh or frozen.

The flapjack freezes well and you can keep it in the freezer for 3 months no problem.

What kit will I need for this Hedgerow recipe?

  • 1 traybake tin measuring approx. 30 x 23 x 4 cm
  • Sauce pan
  • Mixing bowl

How many yummy portions will I get?

You can get snack sized 12-15 portions or 8-10 pudding servings

Blackberries growing in hedgerows
What ingredients do I need to make my nutritionally superior vegan and gluten free treats?

Flapjack Base

185g dairy free and vegan margarine, plus extra for brushing your tin with (we used Pure but other brands are available)

115g light brown sugar (any crystallised sugar will do including coconut/Demerara/Muscovado/white granulated…)

125g golden syrup (or any vegan friendly syrup including maple and date syrups. Don’t use honey for vegans)

225g gluten free oats

200g chopped, toasted nuts (almonds, hazelnuts or peanuts). To make this nut free you can use chopped and toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

150g ground nuts (almonds, hazelnuts or peanuts). To make it nut free try Linwoods blend of milled sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds.

350g fruit (fresh/frozen or dried. Try: cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, chopped pear, apple, nectarine, plum, damson)

Crumble Topping

100g light brown sugar (see swaps above)

100g dairy free and vegan margarine

55g gluten free oats

100g gluten free plain flour (I used gluten free oat flour)

How to make your gluten free hedgerow flapjack

Here's my method

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C / Gas 4 and brush your traybake tin with a bit of melted margarine or vegetable oil.

2. To make the flapjack base; melt margarine, sugar and syrup in a saucepan, stirring every minute or so. Don’t let this mixture boil or your flapjacks will be hard. Check the sugar has fully dissolved too otherwise flapjacks will be gritty.

3. Pop the oats, whole and chopped nuts (or seeds if nut free) into a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the molten mixture too and stir thoroughly, ensuring all dry ingredients are coated.

4. Spoon this mixture into your oiled tin and spread evenly to create a smooth-ish base. Scatter your fruit on top and bake for 10 minutes.

5. To make the crumble topping pop the sugar, margarine, oats and flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the margarine using your fingertips. It will soon become clumpy - it’s wetter and softer than a regular cumble mix.

6. Deposit this mix over the fruit layer. You will see patches of fruit beneath. It’s a bit like wet modelling clay - you don’t sprinkle it rather you fling it on in blobs.

7. Bake for 15-18 minutes until light golden in colour.

Devour!

Top Tips when making this fruity flapjack

1. You can use fruit jam or jelly instead of actual fruit. It’s a great recipe for using up any jam you might have lurking in the cupboard. Spread a thick layer over your flapjack base which will be approx 200g or half a jar. Marmalade and curds would work equally as well.

2. Sprinkle nuts or seeds over the top of your flapjack - add them in the last 5 minutes of baking time otherwise they’ll burn.

3. Try wrapping your baked goodies in Bee wraps - the environmentally friendly alternative to clingfilm for fab packed lunches.

4. For a great range of tray bake tins jars try Harts of Stur. They are our local go to for kitchen kit and are lovely people to boot! Based in Dorset, they are a family run firm employing local people.

5. If you are too busy to make your own then head over to our online shop where you can buy delicious gluten free flapjacks ready to go as slices or tray bakes. There are vegan oaty slices there too.

The following books are great for background reading on recipes and foraging:
“Wild Blackberry Cobbler” by Katie Stewart and Pamela Mitchell. I got my used copy online. Full of interesting, old fashioned recipes.
“The Thrifty Forager” by Alys Fowler. This is packed to bursting with recipe ideas and safe foraging tips
“A Natural History of the Hedgerow” by John Wright. A lovely book full of history and folk lore.

COMMENT BELOW and share what you think about this healthy, natural flapjack recipe

 

Comment below and share what your favourite part of this fruity flapjack recipe is! Be sure to share this video with a friend too! Thanks for reading!

- Emma Goss Custard

If you like this video and recipe, then take a look at our easy gluten free Lemon & Ginger Cake recipe. 

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