Whip up a batch of this to last a few days so the mornings are a little less hectic.
Outside my window the rain is falling and the speckled breast of a thrush catches my eye as it hops about on the wet grass on the hunt for its next meal. It’s almost noon. The bowl of bircher muesli I have just photographed, topped with a sticky maple pear and crunchy walnuts, is looking like it will be my next meal! That’s if I can keep the hungry kids away from it for long enough.
Bircher muesli is a wonderful meal. Easy to prepare, nutritious and filling and easily adapted to what you have in the cupboard. I often whip up a batch to last a few days so that mornings are a little less hectic. My kids prefer a chocolate version, however, made simply with oats, cocoa, vanilla, milk and a splash of maple syrup.
BIRCHER MUESLI WITH MAPLE PEARS & WALNUTS
- 1½ cups oats
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 pears
- 30g butter
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 40g walnuts
- pinch of sea salt
Put the oats, sunflower and chia seeds, coconut and raisins into a bowl. Mix well before adding the milk, yoghurt and vanilla and mixing again to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the bircher muesli from the fridge before preparing the pears.
Halve the pears lengthwise and then core (I used a melon baller, which makes them look satisfyingly uniform!). Place the pears cut side down on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, cut into slices, stopping short of the top of the pear so it holds together but can be fanned out once cooked.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat and add the pears. Cook for 20 minutes, turning several times as you go to make sure the pears are cooked through and golden brown on the cut side. Ten minutes into the cooking, add the walnuts and the maple syrup, stirring them to make sure they brown on all sides. Once the pears and walnuts are ready, sprinkle the walnuts with a pinch of sea salt.
Divide the bircher muesli among four bowls, top with a pear half followed by the maple walnuts. Serve immediately.
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