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.
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.
In a separate mixing bowl, place the flour and the porridge oats. Mix these together
well so they are properly combined.
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.
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.
Once the dough has come together, halve it.
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.
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.
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.
Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden
brown and the fruit is bubbling underneath.
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.
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.