• Semolina breakfast with poached quinces (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

Toasting the semolina before cooking is not necessary for this recipe to be successful; however, it does give the dish a pleasing mellow nuttiness, adding an extra dimension to the flavour. 






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (10 votes)

The quinces will take a couple of hours to cook, but they can be prepared a few days ahead of time.


  • 15 g (½ oz) butter 
  • 130 g (4½ oz/⅔ cup) semolina 
  • 500 ml (17 oz/2 cups) milk 
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 


Spiced poached quinces 

  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • 115 g (4 oz/⅓ cup) rice malt syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised 
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 quinces 


To serve 

  • natural yoghurt
  • roughly chopped pistachios
  • ground cardamom
  • milk (optional) 

Cook's notes

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.


To make the quinces, place all the ingredients except the quinces in a large heavy-based saucepan with 500 ml (17 oz/2 cups) water. Bring slowly to the boil over medium–low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the syrup. Meanwhile, peel the quinces one at a time (reserve the peel) and cut each into 6 or 8 wedges, leaving the core intact. Add the quince to the syrup in the pan. Tie the peel in a piece of muslin to enclose then add to the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover with the lid and cook for 1½–2 hours or until the quinces are a deep pink–red colour and are soft, but still holding their form. Cool the quinces in the liquid or serve warm. The cores of the quinces may be removed before serving. Discard the muslin bag, vanilla bean pod and spices. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the semolina and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until light golden and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl. 

Add the milk, rice malt syrup, cardamom, and vanilla seeds and pod to the pan with 500 ml (17 oz/2 cups) water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Add the semolina and return to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook, uncovered, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until mixture thickens. If necessary, thin with a little hot water or milk. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla bean pod. 

Serve the semolina into bowls and top with yoghurt, the poached quince and a drizzle of the poaching syrup. Sprinkle with pistachios and cardamom and, if you like, add a splash of milk. 



• To make vegan, replace the butter with coconut oil, and the milk and yoghurt with non-dairy alternatives. 


This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.