Thursday, 7 June 2012

Great Scots!

Fiocchi di Avena al Forno, con Mele & Sciroppo d'Acero
Baked Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal with Maple Syrup

Good Morning All! Are we ready for a little breakfast? I certainly was today... and for some reason awoke feeling nostalgic for one of the first things I ever cooked in our "home economics" class at school... Flapjacks! Now, I know that means something else in the USA, but the flapjacks that I was hungering for, are the delicious oatmeal cookies from Scotland... sticky with "Golden Syrup" and crispy and crunchy on top... mmm!

Obviously that was not going to be a breakfast solution, as they need to bake and cool for at least a couple of hours... but with a little inspiration and a little improvisation, I came up with this speedy variation on the same theme... and quicker than your latest Loch Ness sighting gets dismissed as impossible... I made this little breakfast treat very, very possible!

I love how versatile oatmeal is, how easy to use and how chewy its texture and nutty its flavor becomes if you prepare it in the right way. The way I prepared it today went something like this. Mix 3 tablespoons of oatmeal with 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt and allow to stand whilst you prepare the other ingredients. There- that's an easy start now, isn't it? ;-)

Cut a few fine slices from a small apple- I used a Braeburn, but you can use whichever sweet/sour kind of apple you like, and then grate the rest finely. Add the apple to the oatmeal along with a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of Maple syrup.

Next step is to crack and separate an egg- drop the yolk into the apple/oatmeal mixture and beat the white to fine peaks. Once the egg white is nice and fluffy, use the mixer to blend the yolk into the oatmeal and add a teaspoon of baking powder and a little olive oil... this will make the mixture juicy and add a little more of an earthy flavor which goes well with the nutty oatmeal and the Maple syrup.

Add the slices, fanned-out and decoratively on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350°F for around 20 min. After this time the oatmeal should have risen and crusted over nicely, the apples should be moist and tender... and both will be waiting to be drizzled with Maple syrup and pushed back under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until they become golden brown and delicious!

I enjoyed mine hot and steamy, with a crispy top and a soft, juicy and chewy centre... but you could also wait for it to set and enjoy cold... the choice... and the enjoyment- is all yours!

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