quince porridge and walnuts

What do you do with the leftover syrup from a compote or tinned fruit? Do you discard it? I usually drink it. Either diluting it with some water, but since I am known for having a sweet tooth I mostly drink it straight out of the jar or tin (I am sure I’m not the only one with that guilty pleasure). I haven’t considered using it in my cooking so far.

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That made me wonder why it is not more often used in the place of water…stock is used for risotto, why not use syrup for a rice pudding?! I am always searching for ways to jazz up my breakfast. Too often i go for müsli and granola in the morning and (don’t cringe!) most of the time it’s store bought. Weekday mornings before going to work is just not the right time for me to be creative in the kitchen. A couple of years ago I have rediscovered porridge. Being German I have grown up with the German word for it called Haferschleim (literally transalted oat slime). That’s enough to put you off for a lifetime, right? For some people the plain porridge (often only consisting of water and oats) is some kind of comfort food. I took me a while to warm to it. First I tried some shop bought varieties, but eventually I started to try recipes I found in cookbooks or adapted from somewhere (a favourite is golden turmeric porridge with cardamom, dates and pistachios).

One morning I had no milk in the fridge, so I decided to improvise and use the syrup of some poached quinces. The syrup had a wonderful floral note thanks to the quince being poached for over 40 minutes in it with the seeds and pod of a whole vanilla bean. So I decided to use that as a starting point for my porridge. Quince love walnuts (and walnuts love quince), so I decided to finally crack the beautiful walnuts I brought home from a trip to Sicily last autumn and sprinkle them over the quince syrup porridge. Feel free to experiment with other syrups you have left over…why not use the syrup of some tinned apricots and pair them with almonds or pistachios in the porridge?! What are your favourite ways to use leftover syrup?

quince syrup porridge with walnuts

  • 50 g porridge oats

  • 175 ml fruit syrup (add a little water if you have less)

  • handful of coarsely chopped walnuts

  • pinch of salt

Heat the syrup until it almost reaches boiling point. Add the oats and the pinch of salt and stir to combine. Immediately reduce the heat to low. Keep cooking and stir frequently for five minutes until the porridge is nice and creamy. Immediately serve in a bowl, scatter over the walnuts. Imagine yourself somewhere sunny and warm and enjoy!