The idea of a breakfast picnic really floats my boat. Seriously, can you think of a better way to start the day than rugged up against the shifting fog, with a warm mug of vanilla chai and a bowl of hot baked quince and apple porridge? Oh take me back there.
This was how we started day 2 of last week’s Local is Lovely Pracshop. And it was pretty great.
Baked apple and quince porridge
This big tray of goodness is a bit like breakfast crumble and how good a concept is that! You can use any fruit you like here, in this case it was a mixture of poached quince and apple. Put this together the night before and leave in the fridge until needed or just throw together 40 minutes before breakfast. Serves 4.
3 crisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups poached quinces
1 1/2 cups porridge oats (not instant)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
Natural yogurt and honey, to serve
Lightly grease a large four-cup capacity baking dish and preheat the oven to 180C. Combine the apples and quinces on the base of the dish then combine the oats with the cinnamon, baking powder, salt, walnuts and sugar and cover the fruit with this mixture. Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla paste together and pour over the oats.
Bake in a moderate oven, 180°C, for 40 minutes (you want the porridge to still be slightly wobbly to touch in the middle) then serve hot with natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
This recipe is adapted just a little, from one of my new favourite books; Huckleberry.
I’d never made chai tea before reading this book and am completely hooked now; not only does the kitchen smell incredible while you are toasting then reducing the spices, the end result is beyond delicious and nourishing. Makes about 4 cups tea.
5 cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp whole allspice berries
3 tbsp cardamom pods
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
4 star anise pods
4cm piece ginger
8 cups water
6 good quality black tea bags
Preheat oven to 160C then mix your spices together and toast on a baking tray until fragrant, about10 minutes.
Combine toasted spices, ginger and water in a saucepan and simmer on high until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and steep for five minutes. Strain, discard the spices and tea and decant straight into cups or into a jug to keep in the fridge.
When ready to have your tea, heat the chai with equal parts milk to chai until steaming, sweeten with the vanilla syrup.
Makes 1 cup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out pod reserved
To make the vanilla syrup, combine sugar, water and vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan and heat, stirring occassionaly until the sugar dissolves. Store in the fridge in a glass jar.
If you have a few moments to spare, please watch this video by the clever and oh so lovely Hannah Mccowatt; she captures just perfectly the mood and magic of our Pracshop.