Sunday 5 January 2014

Apple & Spice Baked Breakfast Porridge

Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day. I love it and all kinds of breakfast related foods. It is my comfort food and I could quite happily eat breakfast foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week and not get bored. Porridge is actually one of my favourites, I find it so comforting, warm, milky with a little bite to the oats. My treat is to sprinkle on a few dark chocolate chips and wait for them to melt before tucking in!

Considering my love of porridge and breakfasty things, it is amazing that until yesterday I had never tried baked porridge. This is more commonly know as baked oatmeal, but as it’s made with chunky oats rather than ground (oatmeal), I think porridge is a better name for it. You bake it as you would a baked rice pudding, stir your oats together with lots of milk, bake it in the oven and hey presto – a delicious flapjack style porridge is yours to enjoy!

As the porridge bakes the oats swell and become plump and compact, meaning its spoonable or even sliceable once removed from the oven. One of the best parts for me was the way the top became golden brown and lightly toasted during baking, creating a thin chewy, slightly crisp top layer with the soft and milky swollen oats beneath.

I decided to jazz up my porridge by adding sultanas, dried apricots, fresh apple, pumpkin seeds and spices. This added a wonderful array of textures and flavours. As the recipe contains no added sugar the fruit adds a lovely natural sweetness, the seeds a pleasant crunch and the spices a delicious warming flavour. The apple created little pockets of soft moistness with a slight tang, while the dried fruit added a lovely chew and intense sweetness. I absolutely loved it!

Eating a slice of baked breakfast porridge on its own felt quite indulgent, but to make it even more decadent I drizzled my slice with a little brandy sauce that I had leftover from Christmas. In my defense it needed using up and I actually ate this for lunch rather than breakfast so I didn’t feel too guilty. The fact I went on to devour nearly half the tray, now that I did feel a little bad about, but I just couldn’t resist it.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try baked porridge – it’s a breakfast revelation! I can’t wait to try out some other variants. Imagine pear with dark chocolate chips or fresh blueberries with vanilla; served with lemon curd and fresh yogurt mmmmmm.

Porridge – how do you eat yours?

Apple & Spiced Baked Breakfast Porridge

150g gluten free oats
40g sultanas
30g dried apricots
10g pumpkin seeds
1 eating apple (I used golden delicious)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
500ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the oats, sultanas, pumpkin seeds and spices into a 15 x 20cm baking dish. Chop the apricots into pieces roughly the same size as the sultanas and add to the mix.
Chop the apple into small cubes 5-10mm in size. Place into a small dish and microwave on high for 1 minute until slightly softened, alternatively do this in a small pan with 1 tbsp water.
Add the apple to the oaty mixture and stir everything together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour over the milk (it will look like a lot but don’t worry).
Bake for 35-45 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed by the oats and the top feels firm to the touch and is golden brown.
Serve in large wedges while still hot, with a little extra milk, cream, yoghurt, fresh fruit or syrup as desired.
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge and eaten cold or reheated the next day.
Feeds 2-4 people depending on appetite


Gluten Free Alchemist said...

Sounds yum! I've never tried it baked either, but seems totally logical now you've posted it. I love my porridge with chopped bananas and honey and a sprinkling of brown sugar on the top. Like you, if I am feeling indulgent I add some grated chocolate and if there's any cream in the fridge, I sometimes add a drizzle of that too…….. naughty!

Johanna GGG said...

I never liked porridge til last year - and now I eat it regular - with raspberries and golden syrup. I tried baked once but it seemed more work and not as crispy as I would like - must try more baked porridge - yours looks delicious and crispy

Antonia said...

Wow - that looks amazing. I have never heard of baked porridge but love the idea, especially with all the fruit and spices for interest. I am usually a bit dull with my porridge - just dark muscovado sugar and sometimes a few sultanas!

Elle said...

Wonderful combination of flavors Katie. The texture as described reminds me of a good bread pudding. Will have to try this on a nice chilly morning. My usual method it to cook the oatmeal in the microwave with some grated apple and raisins.