Spicy Oat and Plum Slices

by Jennifer Clark

You will also need a non stick baking tin measuring approximately 10 x 6 inches. Grease this well with either a little oil or butter. Heat your oven to around 375 degrees F.

  1. Take the plums, halve them and place them in a mixing bowl, sprinkling over the cinnamon. Leave these to sit for around twenty minutes to half an hour so that the plums start to release their juices and mingle with the cinnamon. Stir them well so that they get an even coating of the spice.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, place the flour and the porridge oats. Mix these together well so they are properly combined.
  3. Take a small sauce pan and into it put the butter and the soft brown sugar. Over a low heat, melt these until they are thoroughly amalgamated.
  4. Mix the melted butter and sugar into the oat and flour mixture until you have a soft ball of pliable dough. If you feel the dough is a little too stiff or unyielding, add a spot of milk, but be careful not to add too much. You want the dough to be soft, but not wet.
  5. Once the dough has come together, halve it.
  6. Now press one half of the dough into the prepared tin, making sure it completely covers the bottom of the tin, with no gaps showing.
  7. Next, take the plum and cinnamon mixture and spread this evenly over the oat base. You may find that the plums have released a fair bit of juice, but make sure to add this in as well.
  8. Once the plum mixture is spread evenly over the oat base, take the other half of the oat mixture and now you can either crumble this over the top in a higgledy-piggledy manner to show the fruit underneath, or you can press it down over the top so that none of the fruit shows through.
  9. Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling underneath.
  10. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before dividing up.

This will make between twelve to sixteen portions, depending on your appetite.

It is delicious served warm, straight from the oven, with cream or ice-cream, or can equally be served cold as more of a healthier flapjack type snack.

Other Options/Variations

This can be made with virtually any fruit or spice you choose, so experiment with combinations. For instance, think about exchanging the plums for rhubarb and the cinnamon for ginger. The rhubarb can be stewed a little beforehand or left raw for a more wholesome texture. You could even try it with blueberries or other soft seasonal or frozen fruits and mix these with nutmeg or mixed spices.

You could try switching the soft brown sugar for caster sugar, which will give the oat mixture a lighter and more cake-like taste and texture, but the brown sugar does give a lovely, rich toffee-ish taste to the mixture, which most people seem to love. It’s also a sugar which is far less refined than caster sugar so many people find they often need less of it in their recipes to get a good flavor.

The only thing that really needs to be kept constant is the oat and flour mixture. This is actually a very healthy snack for anytime during the day, or an after dinner dessert as it contains a wholesome mixture of the finest oats and good quality wholemeal flour, as well as a portion of fruit in every slice. Oats have long been known for their ability to keep blood sugar stable and cravings for sweet foods at bay. They are also renowned for helping to lower cholesterol as part of a healthy balanced diet. When mixed with the wholemeal flour for the base they provide an excellent source of fiber, which will help to keep you fuller and sustained for longer. The fruit gives a natural sweetness without adding too many calories and believe it or not, the cinnamon has one of the same benefits as the oats too, as it is a spice that helps to keep blood sugar stable and cravings for sweet food under control.

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