Nigel Slater’s Recipes for Breakfast Scones and Caper Scones in Dill Sauce | food

Few things stimulate the appetite quite like a walk before breakfast on a winter morning. When you come home, newspaper and loaf of bread in hand, that’s when the stove is on, the coffee is on, and the kitchen table becomes the best place in the world. If there were guests around, there would be something more than a bacon sandwich on our plates. Sometimes there may be the little fish-filled cakes you made this week. Crispy, golden pillows of smoked fish and mashed potatoes, perfect for breakfast or dinner, and eaten with a jar of pickled zabby on the side.

The recipe is helpful in that you can make it the day before, then pat the muffins into circles and leave them in the fridge overnight. I use prepared slides to salvage the difficult task of pulling out the delicate bones that lie on every side of a complete grave. Time saved, but I’d rather not see the shimmering gold, silver, and black of the gorgeous smoked fish open.

There might also be plain or fruit-encrusted porridge, or perhaps pancakes filled with seeds and oats. The marriage of berries and oats is probably best appreciated in the fall, as the two are put together in a wine glass with whipped cream and whiskey for dessert, but I know them better as breakfast partners.

On gray winter mornings, when apples and pears are welcomed but always present, a bunch of scarlet berries—albeit from frozen—is a delightful sight in a bowl of Bircher muesli or studded in a ricotta pie.

For the weekend, I tossed a handful of frozen berries into a batch of oatmeal muffins, and while eating the warm breakfast muffins with their crunchy crown of blue poppy seeds, I was rather happy. We ate the rest of the batch, warm for a while, to cheer up Parky Monday morning.

Breakfast cakes

It’s customary to let any cake settle and cool before eating, but I recommend eating these mini breakfast muffins as soon as they’re baked. Orange zest adds raspberry flavor, and poppy seeds add a welcome crunch. It’s not sweet, so if you like it, add an extra tablespoon of sugar. I like to serve them with apricot jam. makes 9

Pure flour 275g
baking powder 2 tsp
caster sugar 2 tbsp
egg 3
grated orange flavour 2 teaspoons full
kefir 175 ml
An apple 1
raspberry 125g (frozen or fresh)
Oatmeal flakes 40 grams
poppy seed 1 tbsp

Set oven to 200°C / gas mark 6. Line a 9-hole cake or muffin tin with
paper bags.

Mix the flour and baking powder in a large bowl, then add the caster sugar. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add the grated orange zest, and whisk gently until combined. Stir in kefir.

Grate the apple coarsely. Fold the flour-egg mixture together gently but well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Add the grated apple, berries, and all but 2 tablespoons of the oats, stirring gently.

Pour the mixture into the baking tins, sprinkle over the poppy seeds and reserved oats, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until risen. The top should feel soft when pressed with your finger. Leave it to rest for a while before eating. It’s best eaten warm, with a little jam on the side.

Caper cake with dill sauce

You can make these the day before, then pat them into circles and leave them in the fridge overnight: Caper Cakes with Dill Dressing. Photograph: Jonathan Lufkin/The Observer

I make a gravadelax-style sauce with honey, dill, and mustard to accompany smoked fishcakes, but a bowl of bread-and-butter pickles or even pickled cucumbers straight from the jar is a suitable tart alternative.
makes 12

Flour potatoes 400 gr
butter 30 grams
Caper slices 400 gr
dill a bunch
peanut oil for shallow frying

To prepare the sauce:
liquid honey 2 tsp
grain mustard 1 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp
Vegetable oil or peanut oil 3 tbsp
dill 2 tablespoons chopped

Peel large, crushed potatoes, cut them into quarters, and boil in salted water until tender, 12-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, tip them into the bowl of a food processor and beat with the butter to a smooth, consistent consistency.

Place the grave slices in a heatproof jug or bowl and pour a kettle of boiling water over it. Leave for at least 10 minutes until softened, then drain and trim. I tend to leave the fish in short, postage stamp-sized pieces rather than mashing it well.

Toss the fish in warm potatoes with a handful of chopped dill and the rich seasoning of salt and black pepper. Leave the mixture to cool slightly, then shape it into rough patties. I make 12 of these the size of large golf balls, flatten them a bit, then let them cool and set.

Put the honey, mustard, vinegar, oil, and dill in a screw-top jar, tighten the lid, and shake for a few seconds to mix the ingredients.

Fry the donuts in shallow hot oil for five minutes or so on each side.

Drain on kitchen paper, and keep warm in the oven if you’re making in batches.

Serve the fish cakes warm, with a bowl of the sauce on the side.

Follow Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater

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