Nigel Slater’s recipes for blueberry oatmeal porridge and cream buns | Food

It’s early, the sky is leaden and the birds are still sleeping. I was woken up by the wind of one storm or another roaring down the bedroom fireplace. That’s what I call morning porridge. A cold Sunday morning in winter can only mean porridge. Fancy porridge, with butter and stewed fruit, with seeds and a thick slice of butter, its edges melting on the surface.

Apples – stewed “cookers” – introduce a pleasantly tart edge to your oatmeal, but a quicker, almost instant alternative are blackberries and blueberries which you can pour into a pan, add a squeeze of lemon, then within seconds steam them spoon over your porridge. I keep currants, plums and gooseberries in the freezer specifically for this purpose. Without bright fruit brewing, hot oats can be too soporific, eaten with the risk of falling back to sleep.

Getting up early also gives me the chance to cook. A simple loaf or a batch of brioches, the most infallible pasta enriched with egg and milk and a little sugar, to be baked, torn and stuffed with jam and whipped cream. Treats like this are a reward for a morning’s gardening, an afternoon pick-me-up between raking leaves from paths and potting up some of the winter grasses. Rolls are also good split and toasted, perhaps with ricotta and marmalade or crushed raspberries and clotted cream.

Oatmeal porridge with blueberries, honey and butter

A porridge of bells and whistles, enriched with butter, seeds and stewed fruit. I like to mix “jumbo” rolled oats and boiled oats for more texture. I don’t often include sugar, honey, or golden syrup in my oats, but that will depend on the fruit I’m using. A spoonful of honey is good with blueberries. For 2

oatmeal 100g
the water 250ml
oat milk 250ml
sea ​​salt

For the compote:
blueberries 200g
honey 2 tablespoons
lemon 1

oatmeal 4 tablespoons
Sun-flower seeds 1 tbsp
pumpkin seeds 1 tbsp
Butter 30g

Put the rolled oats in a medium sized mixing bowl, pour the water in it and let them soak for 30 minutes. During this time they will soften and your porridge will be creamier.

Prepare the compote: put the blueberries in a medium-sized saucepan (you will use it later for the porridge), add the honey and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook the berries for 3 or 4 minutes until their skin bursts, then squeeze a few drops of lemon juice. Put aside.

Prepare the filling: In a shallow skillet, toast the oats for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring them around the pan so that they brown evenly. Remove them from the heat when they have the color of toasted bread and the smell of pancakes. Stir in sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Pour the rolled oats and their water, the oat milk and a generous pinch of sea salt into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 or 4 minutes, stirring almost continuously, until thick and creamy. Once cooked, beat the porridge firmly with a wooden spoon – this will give you a creamier texture.

Ladle the porridge into bowls, pour the compote over the surface (it will drip into the porridge as you eat), then scatter the toasted oats and seeds. Place a slice of butter on each and let melt.

Sweet buns with cream and jam

Small and elegant: brioches with cream and jam. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Sweet bread doughs, especially those enriched with both milk and eggs, rise less dramatically than a dough made from flour, yeast and water. I like to make 12 fancy buns from the recipe below, but you can make 9 larger ones if you like. Makes 9 large loaves

solid white flour 500g
dry yeast 7g
salt 1 teaspoon
caster sugar 45g
Milk 200 ml, whole
eggs 2
Butter 50g, at room temperature
a little beaten egg and milk glaze
poppy seeds 1 tbsp

To serve:
Jam and lightly whipped cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. It shouldn’t be hot, just lukewarm. Add the milk, lightly beaten eggs and butter to the flour, then mix using the paddle mixer. You can also do this by hand, mashing it all together.

On a lightly floured board or with the dough hook of an electric mixer, knead the dough until smooth and slightly sticky. (About 5 minutes with a mixer, 10 minutes by hand.) This will take longer than with unenriched bread dough, but don’t be too rough with it. When you have a smooth dough, cover it with a tea towel and place it in a warm place for a good hour so that it rises. Your dough should almost double in size.

Remove dough from bowl and tear or cut into 9 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball, then wrap loosely in a 24cm round roasting pan or baking dish. They will only touch each other. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/thermostat 4. Lightly brush the buns with the beaten egg and milk, then sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes then unmold onto a cooling rack. When they are cold, stuff them with jam and whipped cream.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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