Apricot Compote

The first time we had porridge served with an apricot compote was when we stayed at Eastward House. We really enjoyed it and I’ve spent a fair amount of time since trying to recreate the compote in our own kitchen. My version does not quite match theirs but, now that I’m getting some decent results, I thought I would share my simple recipe as a tribute to Patrick & Keiko at Eastward House.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

6 fresh apricots

½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 dessert spoon of honey

Cooking time: at least one hour

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160c

  2. Chop the apricots into small pieces and place in a small casserole dish

  3. Add the freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon and honey. Stir thoroughly.

  4. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or with tin foil

  5. Place in the oven. Stir every half hour and remove once the apricots have broken down to the consistency of a thick sauce with small soft chunks of fruit.

  6. Tip1: if you are having this with porridge first thing in the morning, then prepare the night before and re-heat.

  7. Tip2: see Perfect Porridge if you want to know how I make it.


Perfect Porridge

I really do not like eating wallpaper paste.  Porridge, in my view, should be creamy but still retain texture and good flavour from the oats.  I have been trying to perfect my porridge for about three years.  I have never shared a recipe before….but now I’m sharing this one.


Ingredients (for 2 people)

60g of Jumbo Oats (preferably organic)

175ml of whole or semi-skimmed milk

175ml of water

¼tsp of salt


Baking tray

Spurtle (or a wooden spoon handle) for stirring

Potlicker (rubber spatula) for serving


Cooking time: 30minutes

  1. Heat your oven to 190C.  Spread the oats over a clean, dry baking tray and place on the middle shelf for around 15 minutes.  Rotate tray every 5 minutes for more even roasting.  You want the oats to change from their pale starting colour to a golden shade and this roasting gives the oats a more nutty flavour. Check regularly after 10 minutes as they can quickly move from golden to burnt!
  2. Gently heat the milk and water while the oats are roasting.
  3. Once the oats are golden brown transfer them to the warmed pan of milk/water and stir.  Turn up the heat to medium and just bring to the boil – take care not to rush this.  If you boil too hard you will break down the texture of the oats.
  4. The moment the mixture starts to bubble reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
  5. Leave for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add salt and stir thoroughly.
  6. Leave for another 4 minutes, stir again.  Serve with honey or brown sugar, dried or fresh fruit, a small moat of Scotch or whatever else takes your fancy!