Border Tart Porridge

Inspired by the classic Border Tart, a rich dried fruit tart from the Scottish Borders, here is the recipe for our entry to the 2017 Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships!  

For the Golden Spurtle we used the flavours of a Border Tart to transform a simple bowl of organic porridge into a decadent dessert. Creamy lemon and vanilla porridge, caramelised walnuts and a raisin and sloe gin compote – one for an indulgent weekend brunch or a special occasion!


(For 2, with some caramelised nuts left over)

For the porridge:
55g pinhead oatmeal
55g medium oatmeal
500ml whole milk
100ml water
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the caramelised walnuts:
50g walnuts, roughly crushed
25g golden caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger

For the sloe gin compote
100g raisins or sultanas
75g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp sloe gin
50ml water


1. The night before, mix the oats in a medium saucepan, add the lemon zest, vanilla bean paste and liquids and soak overnight in the fridge.
In the morning:
1. Pour cold water over the raisins and leave to soak.
2. For the caramelised walnuts, mix the ground ginger and nuts.
3. Melt the sugar in a small-ish pan, stirring frequently (this should take around 4 minutes).
4. Once liquid, tip in the nuts while still on the heat, stir quickly to coat, then tip out onto a plate to cool.
5. Give the porridge a quick whisk and stir gently over a medium-high heat until it begins to bubble and gloop like hot mud (this should take around 5 minutes).
6. Turn the heat down, add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes.
7. Take off the heat, put the lid on the pan and leave to sit while you make the compote.
8. For the compote, drain the raisins, tip into a pan, add the sloe gin and bubble over a high heat until the liquid is reduced by half.
9. Add the sugar and water to the pan, stir and bring to a gentle boil.
10. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency.
11. Break up the cooled caramelised nuts with your fingers or give them a quick bash with a rolling pin.
12. Serve: ladle the porridge into bowls, sprinkle a thick line of nuts across the dish and spoon the compote onto one side of the nuts. Add a dollop of double cream and dig in!

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