Recipes: Breakfasts worth getting up for on a winter’s morning in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Charlotte Smith-Jarvis shares some of her favourite suggestions for a lazy weekend breakfast.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m the first to admit I’m not a great breakfast eater during the week.
If anything I’ll prepare a bunch of fruit and veg in the evening to be juiced and consumed on the go in the mornings.
But, come the weekend, there’s a kind of serenity and satisfaction to getting up a bit later, preparing something to put a smile on everyone’s faces, and poring over magazines with a steaming cup of tea. Here are some of the recipes I love.
Coconut crumpets with sunshine jam - makes 6 large crumpets and three jars of jam
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Despite my initial doubts that they would be flat as pancakes when I first made my own crumpets, in actuality they were pretty easy – and very satisfying. There’s something triumphant about looking down at the griddle and seeing the batter puff up into a holey cake ready to be smothered with sweet, zingy jam. Talking of which, this is one of the best jams I’ve ever made. The subtle hit of star anise gives it a mystical, moreish flavour.
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Crumpets: 175g strong white bread flour, 100g plain flour, 75g fine desiccated coconut, 2 7g sachets dried yeast, 3tbsps caster sugar, 350ml warm coconut milk, 150-200ml warm water, 1/2tsp bicarbonate soda, sunflower oil for cooking, 4ins wide non-stick presentation rings for cooking
Sunshine jam: 1 medium pineapple peeled, cored and chopped finely, 1 large mango stoned, peeled and chopped finely, 500g jam sugar, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1 whole star anise zest and juice 1 lime
Make the jam first. Place the sugar and star anise into a pan with enough water to cover. Simmer on a low heat until you can see all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Now add the pineapple, mango, lime juice and zest and vanilla. Simmer for 20 minutes to soften the fruit, then bring to the boil. Have a very cold (from the freezer) plate ready and test for setness every couple of minutes. It should be jelly-like. Once you reach this stage turn off the heat, remove the star anise and pour into sterilised jars.
For the crumpets mix the flours, desiccated coconut and yeast together with the sugar. Add the coconut milk and beat for around five minutes. This will be hard work as it’s a very stiff dough, but will help form those famous crumpet holes. Leave the batter to rest, covered for 20 minutes.
Now add the soda and the warm water and beat. Cover for another 20 minutes.
To cook heat a griddle (I use the surface of a non-stick panini press) or pan and set your rings inside. Add three heaped tablespoons of mix to each and allow to cook for four to five minutes. They will start to bubble on top and the sides will look set. Carefully turn over and cook on the other side for a few more minutes, then serve straight away or toast later.
Dark chocolate and marmalade to-go bars - makes 16-20
These tasty bars (which Paddington would certainly approve of) have a tasty bittersweet flavour and last well in an airtight tin. They are ideal if you’ll be on the go – we take them to football practice!
400g rolled oats, 100g crushed cornflake cereal, 220g marmalade, 60g brown sugar, 50g sliced almonds, 3 heaped tbsps runny honey, 2tbps sesame seeds, zest 1 orange, 60g golden caster sugar, 2 large egg whites, 150g dark chocolate chunks, 50g melted dark chocolate for drizzling
Line a baking sheet of about 12ins by 16-17ins with greaseproof paper. Combine all the ingredients except the melted chocolate, caster sugar and egg whites in a bowl and bring them all together.
Whisk the egg whites with the caster sugar until you have stiff peaks, and fold through the mixture. Set the oven to 170C and bake for 20 minutes until set and lightly golden.
When cool cut into pieces and drizzle with the melted chocolate.
Sticky date pancakes - makes around 20 small pancakes
These gently spiced, sticky toffee flavoured pancakes can go two ways. Either top them with poached oranges or dried fruits as I did, or, if you’re being naughty, smother them with a lovely toffee sauce. Thursday Cottage’s banoffee curd, or Scarlet and Mustard’s toffee apple curd, would both work well.
125g pitted dates chopped finely, 300g self-raising flour, 75g plain flour, 2tbsps brown sugar, 1tsp mixed spice, 1/2tsp ground cinnamon, 500ml milk, 50g melted butter, 1 egg, oil for frying.
Soak the dates in boiled water for about an hour to soften. Drain and mix with the flours, sugar, spices, milk, butter and egg.
Prepare a pan with a coating of oil, get it nice and hot, and add the mixture in tablespoons, allowing to bubble up and set at the edges before turning.
Serve warm – however these do freeze well.
Baklava granola - makes 1 large tubful
Granola doesn’t take long to make and is so versatile. I’ve served it here with natural yoghurt and pomegranate seeds mixed with a touch of rosewater, which tastes beautifully perfumed.
20g unsalted butter melted, 75g brown sugar, zest two oranges, 120g runny honey, 100g pumpkin seeds, 500g rolled oats, 75g sesame seeds, 75g chopped dates, 100g shelled pistachio nuts, 75g almonds chopped roughly, 1.5tbsp rosewater
Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Mix together the sugar, honey, butter and orange zest. Combine the other ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour over the liquid mixture. Combine well and spread over two lined, large trays. The mixture should sit in a single layer.
Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning often until toasted and golden. Cool completely then store in an airtight tub or jar.
Irish fadge with sausage gravy - serves four
This is a proper, hearty kind of breakfast to warm the cockles. The type of thing you might want to tuck into after a crisp cold early morning walk with the dog.
Fadge is a type of Irish potato bread that is dense and comforting and the perfect foil for mopping up the down-home, Southern American-style sausage gravy.
For the fadge: 450g mashed potato, 1/2tsp salt, 2tbsps butter, 1 mugful plain flour, good pinch black pepper
For the gravy: 450g butchers sausages, skins removed, 1 small onion very finely chopped, 3tbsps plain flour, 450ml milk, 2tbsps Worcestershire sauce, fresh black pepper, Tabasco (optional), oil for frying
To make the fadge just mix all the ingredients together and knead into a dough. Shape into a 2ins thick round on a floured surface and cut into quarters. When you are ready to serve simply griddle or fry it in a buttered or oiled pan until golden all over.
To make the gravy place a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook until very soft then add the sausagemeat and crush and crumble in the pan to separate it. Make sure it is completely cooked through, then add the plain flour and cook for another minute. Add the milk, bit by bit, whisking to ensure no lumps form. Add the Worcestershire sauce, some black pepper and Tabasco if you like. Serve with your potato bread and maybe some cooked mushrooms and tomatoes.