Think of this as an alternative to porridge - it's just as satisfying and makes a nice change. While we've opted for the crispness of a fresh, firm pear, this comforting dish also works well with poached pears or roast rhubarb.
- 700 ml milk
- 80 gm caster sugar
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 150 gm white polenta (see note)
- 30 gm butter, diced
- Mascarpone, shaved pear and coarsely chopped roasted almonds, to serve
- 350 gm honey (1 cup)
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1For burnt honey, cook honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until caramelised (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add orange juice and 50ml water (be careful, hot honey will spit), swirl to combine and cool to room temperature.
- 2Stir milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla seeds and 350ml water in a wide saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, bring to a simmer, then gradually add polenta, whisking continuously to combine. Reduce heat to as low as it can go and simmer, whisking occasionally and then more frequently as the mixture thickens, until the polenta no longer feels grainy on your tongue (15-20 minutes). Whisk in butter until melted and combined. Adjust the consistency, if you prefer, with a little warm milk then divide among serving bowls, top with a dollop of mascarpone, shaved pear and almonds and serve drizzled with burnt honey.
White polenta, made from white corn, is available from essentialingredient.com.au and select delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: A nice cup of tea. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.