Earl Grey & Marmalade Muesli


Guess which books are Julian's and which is mine. This is not a trick question.

Like Marmite, Worcestershire sauce, and other obscure English food products, Earl Grey tea has a distinctive, singular flavor with a name that doesn't give you a clue as to what that flavor is. Well, Earl Grey is simply black tea flavored with Bergamot orange, and this muesli is an effort to add more complexity and structure to that ephemeral English aroma.

First, I marinated the oats in an Earl Grey/marmalade reduction, orange zest, and powdered Earl Grey tea. The actual tea leaves are a rush-to-the-veins hit of Earl Greyness. The Bergamot flavor gets pushed and pulled: deep and bitter in the marmalade, fresh and sharp with the zest. After about three hours in the marinade, the mixture is toasted and tossed with almonds and mild-mannered fruits, golden raisins and dried apricots. The result retains Earl Grey's lovely liquid delicacy, and adds oomph and earthiness -- like a lemonade turned into a lemon bar.

My recipe is a little involved (reducing, marinating, pulverizing the tea leaves), but I struggle with store-bought mueslis that end up just tasting the same. The crack cocaine of mueslis, Dorset Cereals, really only has three flavors: Fruity, Nutty, and Fruity & Nutty. But if you just play with those fruit and nut preparations, add unexpected ingredients, and maybe add a little bit of inspiration, then muesli can be fit for those royal newlyweds or even an adorable stuffed bear!