Liven up winter breakfasts with the addition of fruit, sugar and spice - it might not suit porridge purists, but everyone else will love it
Oh dear, the kids are already fed up with porridge in the morning and it's still only November. Granted, it is the grownups and the toddler in our household who most enjoy eating porridge, but the older two will eat it if pressed. That is, until roundabout now in my porridge serving season!
Undeterred, with half-eaten bowls in front of them and a hurried piece of toast as we exit for school, my next batch of porridge would have to up the ante if I planned on stretching it throughout the winter. A change is as good as a rest and all that.
Porridge purists might shudder at the thought of anything but oats cooked in water with a pinch of salt (and perhaps a spoon of brown sugar to serve?), but I am not a purist and neither are my children.
Apple and cinnamon porridge was on just the right side of different to stir interest from my breakfast dissenters. It was welcome change from my usual preparation and I'll certainly be making it again - but not too often for any porridge boredom to surface.
1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
200g porridge oats or oatmeal
400ml whole milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Muscovado, golden syrup or demerara sugar, to serve
Milk, to serve
Raisins or currants, to serve
Put the apple, sugar and a splash of water into a pan. Cook over a medium heat with a lid on until the apple is fluffy and cooked. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Put the oats, milk, water, cinnamon and salt into the pan and slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring frequently.
Turn down the heat and simmer, stirring very regularly, for about seven minutes, until you reach the consistency you like.
Cover with a lid and allow to rest for five minutes, then stir in the apple puree.
Serve topped with sugar, extra milk and a few currants or raisins.
Apple and cinnamon porridge. Photograph: Claire Thomson/Guardian