Overnight apple, maple syrup, raisin and cinnamon porridge


I didn’t get a picture of Bert refusing to eat this, so here’s a gratuitous one of him having a cuddle with his big brother. The dark shadow sitting at his feet isn’t the ghost that foreshadows some far-off, horrible doom, it’s Ray.

Serves 2

1/2 cup porridge oats

2 cups milk

1 apple, grated

1/2 a cup of raisins

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dessert spoon of maple syrup

Sprinkling of brown sugar

The night before, put the oats and milk in a pan and pop it in the fridge. It will seem like far too much milk. The next morning warm it gently with the apple, raisins, cinnamon and maple syrup till it’s smooth and creamy (you get a much creamier, softer consistency by leaving it overnight and it cooks more quickly too). Sprinkle on a little brown sugar and offer to a toddler who writhes away from it like it’s poison.




Not panettone


Makes one large loaf

I looked up the recipe for panettone and quite quickly decided I was too lazy and unskilled to attempt it. This is a fruited, enriched raisin bread that’s sweetened with caster sugar and vanilla. But it’s not panettone.

500g 00 flour

100g golden caster sugar

7g quick acting yeast

150g raisins

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 egg

300ml warm milk

Combine all the ingredients and knead, by hand or with the dough hook on a food processor, for around 10 minutes. It will be a soft, sticky dough that’s very stretchy and elastic. Flour a tin and push the mixture into it, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise till it’s doubled in size, before cooking in a hot oven (180 degrees or on the grid shelf on the bottom of the Aga roasting oven) for 30-40 minutes.

Serve warm from the oven with butter or toasted the next morning.

Oat and raisin cookies

oat cookies

Makes about 24

100g raisins

150ml vegetable oil

100g golden caster sugar

2 tablespoons apple sauce

1 egg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

140g plain flour

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

300g oats

Soak the raisins in 50ml of boiling water – the soaking plumps them up and stops them from burning in the oven. In a food processor, beat the oil and sugar together then add the remaining ingredients. Flatten dessert spoonfuls of the mixture on a lined baking sheet and cook at 180 degrees (or the grid shelf on the floor of the Aga roasting oven with the cool shelf two rows above) for about 13 minutes.

The apple sauce replaces some of the sugar so these are pretty worthy, as cookies go. We have these as an afternoon snack with milk, or an easy, filling pudding when Bert’s in a carb avoiding mood. I grabbed three for breakfast on the train this morning, too. Sorry Bert, that’s just the way it crumbles, cookie-wise.

Cinnamon and raisin porridge

2015-02-21 08.52.02

I used to eat porridge with double cream and brown sugar, but this is how me and Bert eat it now. Well, I eat it with a spoon, he grabs handfuls of it from the table and shoves it in his mouth.

Serves 1.5

1 cup porridge oats

1.5 cups whole milk

Large handful raisins

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients and cook over a reasonably low heat, stirring, until it’s thick and creamy. Stop at the consistency of softly scrambled eggs point.