This healthy take on a comforting dessert makes for a perfect breakfast. You can leave out the butter if you like, and a drizzle of honey for extra sweetness is optional. I do like to keep the crusts on my bread as it adds a nice chewy texture.
- 50 g (1¾ oz) fresh (Medjool) dates, seeded and sliced
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped almonds
- 2 tbsp sliced dried apricots
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 30 g (1 oz) butter, softened (optional)
- 4 x 2 cm (¾ in) thick slices sourdough rye bread
- 4 free-range eggs
- 625 ml (21 oz/2½ cups) milk
- ground cinnamon
- honey (optional)
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.
Soaking time: 10 minutes
Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F (fan-forced). Place four shallow ovenproof bowls onto a baking tray.
Combine the dates, almonds, apricots, orange zest and 2 teaspoons of the orange blossom water in a bowl and set aside.
Butter the bread if you like and cut into cubes, leaving the crust on, and pile into the bowls. Sprinkle with the fruit mixture, tucking it between the bread cubes.
Whisk the eggs, milk and remaining orange blossom water together in a large jug. Pour evenly over the bread and fruit and set aside to rest for 10 minutes, allowing some of the liquid to absorb into the bread.
Bake for 40–45 minutes or until puffed in the centre, golden and set.
To serve, top with yoghurt, a sprinkle of cinnamon and, if you like, a drizzle of honey.
• To make dairy free, leave out the butter and swap the milk and yoghurt for non-dairy alternatives.
This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.