Mark Bittman has continued his healthy breakfast series with recipes for whole grain pancakes. Sprydle’s Derbyshire oatcakes are similar to the cardamon-scented oatmeal pancakes minus the fruit. Since there are usually a few Derbyshire oatcakes in the freezer for a quick weekday breakfast, why not make a delicious fruit compote to top them off with? (These would also work as crepes fillings or even with ice cream.)
12 ripe fresh figs
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons orange flower water, to taste
Put the sugar and spices in a pan, add 2 1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. Add figs and orange flower water. Simmer for five minutes without boiling until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
Caramelized Apples with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Calvados
4 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced 1/4″ thick
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 tablespoons Calvados
Heat butter in a heavy skillet. Add apples and sprinkle with brown sugar. Toss to coat. Cook over high heat, stirring often until apples start to caramelize and are easily pierced with a knife, about 12 minutes (add water if necessary). Splash Calvados over pan and cook until evaporated. Stir in raisins, pine nuts, and 2 1/2 cups water. Simmer until you have a thick golden syrup.
Dried Fruit with Almonds
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried pitted prunes
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1/4 cup blanched sliced almonds
Cover the dried fruit with warm water and set aside to plump, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain. In a saucepan mix 3/4 cup hot water with fruit and vanilla sugar. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Let cool. Garnish with almonds.