much loved bircher muesli & breakfast pancakes w glazed strawberries

Last Sunday I had the most flavour packed Breakfast I'd enjoyed in a while.  I was at the Red Tree Cafe in Bowral. Well presented in a deep white bowl were four fluffy potato Swiss rosti circles layered with poached egg and roast tomato, stacked with baby spinach, house-made pesto, grilled pancetta and shaved parmesan.  It was a delicious yet light Swiss meets Aussie creation, topped with a little bit of Italy. And it got me thinking about my all-time favourite breakfasts.

Being in Thredbo Village was a brief reminder of the charms of European Alpine resorts. Snow capped fairytale villages we dream about and hope to visit at least once or twice in our lifetimes. Some lucky folk far more regularly. My two breakfast standouts are both classics; Swiss Bircher Muesli and Breakfast Pancakes. No doubt you make them at your place too. But I wanted to share my take on them with you.

much loved bircher muesli  

The Bircher story is a long one. About 112 years young and as long as the list of varied recipes you‘ll find. But I reckon it’s enough to ignore them all and listen to your tastebuds. Just go with the combination and texture you enjoy most.  This is my brother Andrew’s well-loved version. It suits my taste buds perfectly and we hope you like it.

My oldest brother is a passionate lover of all things Swiss especially; bircher, businesses, cows, coffee and mountain air. And as you can see, he's a much better photographer than me. He lived and worked in the beautiful canton of Luzern. Thanks for the pics Bro.

Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus refrigeration time) serves: 4-5

Ingredients - 2 cups (180 grams) Natural Organic Muesli of your choice (we use the Woolies Macro brand, natural not toasted) ❤ ¾ cup apple juice ❤ ¾ cup milk ❤ 1 cup (280 grams) natural greek yoghurt ❤ 2 medium green granny smith apples ❤ ¼ cup (35 grams) flaked almonds, toasted ❤ ¼ cup (20 grams) toasted shredded coconut (if your muesli doesn’t contain coconut) ❤ 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon & nutmeg ❤ ½ cup (140 grams) yoghurt, extra if desired ❤ drizzle of best quality honey, if desired

Method - Combine muesli, juice, milk and yoghurt in a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle on nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir well until bircher is a wet, runny consistency. Cover with clingwrap and refrigerate overnight. 18 hours is even better if you can manage to make it at lunchtime the day before.

At breakfast time, peel, core and coarsely grate &/or slice apples. I grate one for mixing thru and one for finely slicing to put on top.  Dry toast almond flakes in a shallow frypan for a minute or two, just to get them warm and crunchy. Mix grated apple and almonds through the bircher. Serve topped with apple, a little extra yoghurt and a drizzle of best quality honey. All Bircher feeback and tips welcome in comments below. I'd love to hear how you make yours.

breakfast pancakes

this recipe is adapted from my oldest and dearest cookbook ‘The Schauer Australian Cookery Book’. Interesting that the newest cookbooks are around $15-$30 on Amazon, yet Amy Schauer’s old 2nd hand classic is fetching $175! 

I’ve been making this pancake recipe for over 30 years. I’m a ‘find a great traditional recipe and stick with it’ type of gal when it comes to classics. Same goes for my special light scones, spongepavlova, lemon curd and scottish shortbread.

My mum’s got this fab teppanyaki plate that makes pancakes even more perfect. Failing fancy Miele appliances, this recipe is just as effective using an old fashioned electric frypan or medium heat gas stovetop.This is a double batch - I always keep leftover batter in a jug covered with clingwrap in the refrigerator for afternoon tea or the next morning.

Ingredients - 2 free range eggs ❤ 4 level tablespoons white sugar ❤ 2 dessertspoons golden syrup  ❤ 1 ½ cups full cream milk ❤ 2 cups self-raising flour, triple sifted ❤ pinch of sea salt ❤ butter for melting and spreading  ❤ a little icing sugar, to serve 

if using lemon sugar for topping ❤ 1 tablespoon caster sugar, to serve ❤ 1 lemon cut into wedges, to serve - if you aren’t a big lemon fan, perhaps do the glazed strawbs while they are in season. Otherwise, butter, maple syrup and icing sugar is hard to beat.

glazed strawberry sauce - ½ cup (170 grams) marmalade ❤ 1 tablespoon caster sugar ❤ 2 tablespoons lemon juice ❤ ⅓ cup (80ml) water, 250 gram punnet farm fresh strawberries, washed and quartered

Method - To make the pancakes/piklets - In a medium bowl with an electric beater, beat eggs and sugar well until thick. Add golden syrup and milk slowly, continue to beat until just combined.

Add flour, sieved three times, with a pinch of salt added.  Beat again (electric beater or wooden spoon) only until batter is combined and smooth. It’s important not to overmix the batter at this stage. Cover and stand batter for as long as possible before cooking. Up to one hour is good. If you haven’t the time, that’s fine too.

Heat your heavy based frying pan to medium and melt a little butter on the bottom to coat. Spread some butter on your egg flipper as well. Pour equal amounts of batter (depending on size of pancakes desired) onto the pan. When surface begins to bubble, turn and cook other side.  Remove from pan and place in fresh tea towel. Cover lightly till quite cool or plate up ready to eat immediately.

Tip: if you want perfect little pikelets, only use 1 tablespoon of batter and stand spoon straight up over pan when pouring batter out.  This makes neat even pikelet circles.

Spoon over lemon sugar, glazed strawberries or maple syrup and dust with icing sugar.

To make the glazed strawberry sauce - bring marmalade, sugar, juice and water to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Add the cut strawberries and reduce heat to low simmer, continue simmering for just a minute or two uncovered. Remove from heat and serve with your pancakes. Enjoy.

A precious gift that comes from 'being Australian' are the cuisines given to us from around the world. I'm so proud that we embrace and devour it all.  Being in the Australian Alps last week reminded me of my European friends, some living here down under and many others in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, UK, Austria.. currently enjoying their summertime. Hallo! Ciao! Guten Tag! Thanks so much for reading My Farm Kitchen jottings. There's one special German gal who's an amazing cook and friend, now living back home in Munster. Hello dear Amelie.  I'd love to share some of the classic recipes from 'your cookbook' with MFK friends, with your permission.

If only we could beam ourselves up for just one day, to breakfast in Lucerne, eat pastries in Naples or dine for the evening in Paris. I'm sure readers outside Australia (hi there and thanks for reading!) would love to 'beam' themselves down under here for abit too.  Alas, we can’t - so let's cook. Let's create. It’s the next best thing to being there. Let's pull out our pots, pans and memories and cook up a storm together. Enjoying the moment... whereever we happen to be.