When I think of British fruits I instantly think of apples. Everyone I know either has an apple tree in the garden or one they can reach over the back fence! Our next door neighbour has an apple and a pear tree which he doesn’t mind us collecting from. No apple from the supermarket will ever taste as nice as one picked straight from the tree! Fact!
British apples are sharp in flavour with a crisp freshness to them. For this breakfast I have used a Bramley apple which is called a cooking apple because it is far too sour to eat raw but when cooked it becomes very sweet and cooks down well to become very soft. You can use any apple you like in your porridge, especially if you prefer sweeter foods then a red apple such as a gala would work. A Bramley apples size suits this dish as you are using it as a bowl :)
Baked apple is a very traditional pudding recipe not exclusive to British history but also found in cookbooks from America and Europe. Sugar wasn’t popular or accessible in Britain until around the 17th century so they would use dried fruits and honey to sweeten their foods. Apples would be sliced and mixed with ingredients such as dried fruits, wine, orange peel, cloves and honey (or maple syrup) and baked on a fire.
Baking apples whole became popular later on and the apple is cored and then stuffed with the dried fruits and honey then baked (delicious served with ice cream).
I wanted to make a breakfast version and I started off by planning to make a traditional baked apple but serve it with a granola topping but this didn’t really feel right as a breakfast. I then thought about doing stewed apple and finally I came to this recipe of an apple, cinnamon and raisin porridge served in the baked apple shell :)
I love apple porridge and you can experiment with the dried fruits you like by adding prunes, dried figs, sultanas or even some candied orange peel. I sweetened the whole thing by drizzling Manuka honey over the top of each assembled and baked apple just before serving. You could sprinkle sugar but honey is much better for you. Of course you can use maple syrup as a vegan sweetener.
The only fiddly part of this recipe is scooping the apple out to create a shell, try not to go through the skin, I suggest leaving around 1cm edge around the apple so that it gets nice and juicy after baking.
The other important thing to do is cut out the core as that will be tough to eat.
Serves 2 (or one if your having it as a brunch- I ate the whole thing to myself!)
Dairy free, gluten free option, vegan option, St George’s day worthy!
50g (4 heaped tblspn) porridge oats – you can buy gluten free oats in most supermarkets.
300ml unsweetened almond milk
2 tblspn sultanas,
1/2 tspn cinnamon,
1 Bramley apple –
2 tspns Manuka Honey or Maple Syrup
Cut the apple in half so you have two halves which can stand fairly flat and then score a circle about 1cm in from the edge to mark where the border will be. Using a small spoon scoop out the apple flesh and discard the core, add the apple flesh to the porridge oats, milk, sultanas n cinnamon in a saucepan and cook on a medium heat for approx 6-8 minutes until the oats and apple have cooked down. If it looks too thick then add abit more milk.
Spoon the cooked porridge into the apple half shells and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes at 170c.
The apple shell should be really soft but still holding it’s shape. Drizzle each half with the honey or maple syrup and serve hot!