I love this hands-on method of cooking oats. If peaches are out of season, try apple or pear instead. The whipped ricotta is lovely, but if you’re after an instant topping, a good dollop of yoghurt is great too.
The blueberries provide a great ‘pop’ of sweetness when you bite into them, but any berry will do.
- 3 peaches, sliced
- 2 tsp fresh lemon
- thyme leaves, plus extra
- 135 g (5 oz/1½ cups) rolled (traditional/porridge) oats
- 250 ml (8½ oz/1 cup) milk
- 125 g (4½ oz) frozen or fresh blueberries
- 25 g (1 oz/¼ cup) roughly chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp sun flower kernels
- 1 tbsp linseed ( flax seeds)
- sliced plum, to serve
- pure maple syrup, to serve (optional)
- 240 g (8½ oz/1 cup) firm fresh ricotta
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Sitting time: 5 minutes
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Place four small ovenproof bowls onto a baking tray.
Divide two-thirds of the peach slices over the bases of the bowls and sprinkle with the lemon thyme and oats. Combine the milk with 500 ml (17 oz/2 cups) water in a jug and pour gently and evenly over the oats in each bowl. Make sure the oats are spread evenly in the bowls.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and give the mixture a light stir with a fork, pressing the oats under the liquid slightly, if necessary. Sprinkle with the blueberries, walnuts, sun flower kernels and linseeds and return to the oven for a further 10–12 minutes or until the oats are tender and there is very little liquid left. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the whipped ricotta, whiz the ricotta, maple syrup and vanilla bean paste in a food processor or blender until smooth. If necessary, thin with a little water or milk to reach the consistency you like. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.
Serve the oatmeal warm, topped with the whipped ricotta, sliced plum, remaining peach slices and extra thyme. If you like, drizzle with maple syrup.
This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.
• To make vegan, swap the milk for a non-dairy alternative and replace the whipped ricotta with coconut yoghurt.