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Heat the slow cooker if necessary. Find a sturdy ceramic bowl that will fit in the cooker. Put the oats in the bowl along with a pinch of salt, then pour over the milk, or a mixture of milk and water. Add the dried fruit, if using. Place the bowl in the slow cooker and put on its lowest setting and cook overnight for 7-8 hours. If anyone’s up in the night, give the porridge a quick stir to scrape up the crustier bits from around the edges and bottom, but don’t worry if not.
In the morning, give the porridge a really good stir – it may have developed a crust on top, but just stir this in to break it up. Add a drop more milk to loosen if necessary, then ladle into bowls and add your favourite toppings.