It dawned on me that I only have three months to get myself ready for my first ever half marathon in aid of Diabetes UK and I’m starting to feel quite intimidated by the whole thing. I’ve got myself into a good routine of three runs a week, two slightly shorter and one long run at the weekend when I have a bit more free time. But as I’m increasing my distances I’m also increasingly suffering from ‘the hunger’. This Saturday gone I got home after an 8 mile cross-country run (in the snow!) and ended up diving into the biscuit tin which I’m sure is not the cleverest way to refuel. I felt hungry the rest of the day and ended up snacking on whatever I could get my mitts on. I realised that I need to have something on hand for just such an occasion that will satisfy my sweet cravings but will also have enough slow-release energy to keep me going until my next meal.
Flapjacks (of the muesli bar variety) could well have been invented for this very purpose but thankfully they were designed to be tea-time treat which means they inevitably end up tasting great rather than like health-food cardboard. My version is a little lower on butter than most classic recipes but it’s still chewy and slightly crumbly with a crunch golden edge. You can use whatever kind of marmalade you happen to have but I prefer a less sweet, thick-cut type so you get lots of sticky orange bits throughout the flapjack. For the ones in the photos I used the last of a failed batch of kumquat marmalade (which had set too thick) which gave them a really zesty finish and a slight bitterness which I very much enjoyed.
Orange and pistachio flapjack
- 90g unsalted butter
- 150g marmalade
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- the zest and juice of one orange
- 100g pistachios, roughly crushed
- 250g rolled oats
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 20cm (8″) square tin.
In a medium pan, melt the butter, marmalade and syrup. Take off the heat and stir in the orange zest and juice, pistachios and oats.
Turn well so that everything is coated and pour into the tin. Spread out and press down lightly to flatten.
Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are brown a crisp and the top is lightly golden.
Allow to cool in the tin before turning out and cutting into 12.