When we think of polenta, we usually imagine a savory meal, but it makes a surprisingly wonderful breakfast porridge. Topped with roasted hazelnuts and Elizabeth David-inspired, simple, baked and buttered apples, you have a belly-warming holiday breakfast that can easily serve a crowd. - yummy supper —yummy supper
Test Kitchen Notes
Polenta for breakfast? Oh my, yes. In this recipe, smooth polenta is topped with oven-roasted apples and toasted hazelnuts. But it gets better with a drizzle of both cream and maple syrup. Polenta will never be the same again. – Andrea —The Editors
In a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 4 cups of salted water over high heat. When the water is just shy of boiling, slowly pour in polenta while whisking continuously. Turn down heat and continue to stir until a thick porridge begins to form. Keep polenta cooking over low heat and stir occasionally. If polenta starts to appear too thick, add splashes of water as necessary. Polenta should be nice and creamy and ready to eat after about 40 minutes.
While your polenta is cooking on the stove top, preheat oven to 350.
Peel, core and slice apples and place them in a baking dish. Dab bits of butter over the tops of the apples. Then, sprinkle sugar oven the tops. Toss in a lemon peel. Bake apples in the center of the oven for 20-30 minutes. They should be tender when done, but not mushy.
While polenta and apples are cooking, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Toss in the hazelnuts and toast them up. Give the pan an occasional shake to insure toasting on all sides. (I like to roast nuts on the stove top so I can keep an eye on them.) Place the roasted nuts in a clean dish cloth and rub to remove skins. Coarsely chop and set aside.
Your polenta and apples should just about be ready at this point.
Scoop polenta into four bowls. Top with a generous scoop of warm roasted apples and chopped hazelnuts. Pass around a pitcher of heavy cream, and a bowl of demerara sugar or maple syrup so that everyone can make their holiday porridge just right!