The Brother Hubbard Cookbook: Autumn-Winter Bircher Muesli

Autumn-winter bircher muesli

 

Discover a new way of eating with Brother Hubbard’s fresh, pure flavours dedicated to sharing and happiness. Leaning towards aspects of Middle Eastern and Southern Mediterranean food, The Brother Hubbard Cookbook is packed with nutritious, wholesome, often deceptively vegetarian dishes that emphasise flavour, colour and texture. This autumn-winter bircher muesli is a great winter warmer, the perfect start to the cooler days of the year.

 

This is our autumn-winter version. As always, I encourage you to experiment with different combinations, following the basic method below. For example, orange juice works well instead of apple, or try a different mix of spices – maybe a tiny bit of ground cloves and extra ginger or even diced crystallised ginger at Christmas.

 

SERVES 4

  • 300g organic rolled oats (porridge oats)
  • 80g mixed dried fruit (such as sultanas, currants, dried cranberries)
  • 400ml best-quality fresh apple juice
  • 100ml water
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tsp ground ginger
  • level tsp ground cardamom
  • 1–2 tbsp honey (or more, to taste)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1–2 apples
  • 1 x 300ml tub of thick Greek yogurt or creme fraiche
  • 1 banana or a small handful of grapes (optional)
  • 50g toasted nuts, roughly chopped (see page 352)
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only (optional) (see page 354)

Ideally, you should soak the oats the night before, but even an hour or two in advance is fine. Place the oats in a bowl with the dried fruit, then add the apple juice, water and spices. Stir well, cover and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours at least.

 

When ready to serve, uncover the oats and add the honey. Now stir well the mix should have a soft, loose consistency. If you feel that the mix is too thick, add an extra dash of apple juice (or even a little water) to loosen it. If you feel it needs a little more spice or sweetness, add more spices and/or a little more honey and stir well. It should ultimately have the consistency of a soft, creamy rice pudding. If you fancy, zest your lemon and add it at this stage.

 

When ready to serve, grate the apple on the biggest part of a box grater or slice it very thinly, tossing well in a squeeze of lemon juice. Add half of this to the bircher muesli and mix well.

 

To build your dish, place a cup of oats in each serving bowl. Top with the remaining apple divided amongst the dishes. Place a spoonful of yogurt on top, followed by the banana or grapes, if using. Finish by sprinkling over the nuts and the pomegranate seeds, if using.

The oat base will hold perfectly in the fridge for 2–3 days. Just taste it every time you use it, as the flavours and texture will evolve. It might need more apple juice (for flavour and/or texture) or more lime or honey (for flavour).

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

 

Some chopped stem ginger would be lovely here too, or you could serve this with a spoonful of our berry and rose compote (page 343 of The Brother Hubbard Cookbook) on top.

 

The Brother Hubbard Cookbook is available on our website, Eason, Amazon and in all good bookstores.

 

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