There is a turning point in the year when I crave a hot bowl of porridge far more than fresh fruit or ice cold milk.
Everyone has their preferences for porridge, some like it gloopy, some like it solid, some enjoy embellishments and others simply, 'just as'. I'd opt for gloopy with more sweet additions than is really necessary and served hot, steaming hot.
Star Anise, Plum and Vanilla Porridge
3 cups of water
1 cup rolled oats
A pinch of salt
800g ripe plums
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scrapped
3 star anise
3 tbsp runny
1/ Preheat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5
2/ Place the washed plums, halved and stoned in an ovenproof dish, nestle in the star anise and vanilla and pour over the honey. Muddle as best you can.
3/ Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the fruit is tender.
4/ Meanwhile pour the three cups of water in a small saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Tip in the oats and add the pinch of salt. Continue to serve until the porridge has bubbled for 5 minutes or so. Spoon into pre warmed bowls (Completely necessary I think). Serve topped with the poached plums.