Sunday, 24 May 2015

Spring Bake!

Piccola Torta di Polenta, Avena, Burro di Arachide, Albicocche, Pistacchi & Miele
Little Oatmeal, Polenta, Peanut Butter, Apricot, Pistachio & Honey Bake


Small, simple, but beautifully formed, this is basically just an up-graded bowl of baked oatmeal... And don't you agree... Breakfast never looked so good!?!

It may look difficult and maybe it is a little more work than simply stirring your bowl of oatmeal together and sprinkling some chopped apricot on top... But then again... You do deserve it now, don't you?

The answer to that question is YES.


With chewy peanut butter and polenta added, this is a really sensible and satisfying breakfast, not simply a pretty one! But with those lovely fresh apricots, pistachios, cinnamon and honey... It is also as delicious as it looks, too!


So, basically, this was just the equivalent of 1 bowl of oatmeal... Just brought into form a little and made pretty! To make it, I needed: approx 3 tablespoons of coarse oatmeal (1 small ramekin-full as you can see in the photo), 1 heaped tablespoon of fine polenta, 2-3 cups of milk, 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, 3 teaspoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and some ground pistachios to sprinkle on top as a garnish at the end.

Of course you will need apricots too... But amazing few of them! It too only 3 small apricots to make this. Shocking, what?!?!

Crispy on the outside, still chewy on the inside, with peanut butter, cinnamon and fresh apricots... If that sound like the breakfast for you- read on and you will see how easy it was to make!

Start off by boiling the oatmeal, polenta and milk together... And as soon as it begins to thicken and you can see whether it is going to be too thick or not, be prepared to add either a little polenta or milk to the mix as required... If required!

Once everything is nicely blended, add the cinnamon and honey and set aside to cool for 10 minutes or so... And in the meantime, turn on the oven to get it hot and ready.


After around 5 minutes, add the peanut butter, stir in and whilst it is cooling, prepare your little baking dish with a rub of butter and a sprinkle of polenta to prevent the batter from sticking when it bakes.


It's that little bit of peanut butter that will make the difference! But of course, there are lots of people out there, I know, who are not the greatest of fans... But for all of you, fear not- it will also taste perfectly delicious without!


To get the apricots ready, cut them into thin slices, pop them into a little pan with the honey and set them on top of the stovetop that you just cooked your oatmeal on... There will be enough residual heat left to melt the honey and gently coat the slices without damaging them.

The honey I used was an organic, citrus honey from Sicily... Aren't I a lucky devil to have that? haha! But... Don't fuss too much... And honey you may have or prefer will do!


Now that the batter has cooled considerably and the polenta has begun to become more stable, you can spoon it into your prepared baking dish.


Spoon from the inside-outwards, so as to make sure that you don't have any large air bubbles trapped in there and smooth it down evenly on top... Then you are ready to start laying out those apricot slices!


Start on the outside, work your way inside... Don't fuss too much- and you will be just fine!

Bake in a hot oven, at around 175-180 C for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are brown and the apricot is cooked through and is also beginning to brown a little.


And after that time, it will look something like this, smell divinely of peanut butter and cinnamon... And be ready for a nice sprinkle of ground pistachios to make it really awesome!


Ahem... Like I just said... In my humble opinion... This looks really awesome indeed!

Sprinkle the pistachios on first, then brace yourself... You are going to need to turn it out onto a dish to serve it this way! Zoiks!

Simply slide a knife around the outer edge to make sure it will come loose from the dish and then, if you want to do it the way I did (for fear of it's pretty appearance being ruined), place a sheet of kitchen roll on top and turn it upside-down. Now that you have it in your hand, set your serving dish on top and then turn the whole thing back over. It worked for me... So it should work for you! Haha!

Alternatively... You could of course simply scoop it out of the dish... Lol!

And once you have successfully done that, you can go ahead and cut it into slices and serve... And enjoy!

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