Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apple Baked Oatmeal

In August, when I was on a little vacation, I had a lovely baked oatmeal dish for breakfast one day. It was exactly what I hoped it would be and exactly what I wanted for breakfast. I decided it was exactly what I was hoping to be able to make at home.

Well, I didn’t really get a chance to search too hard for a recipe after that, but then I was reading through a copy of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso, and found one that looked like what I needed. I finally got a chance to try it out on a lazy Saturday morning, and it was delicious! Still exactly what I want for breakfast!

While I went through all the steps of the recipe on the morning I was going to eat it, I think you could do some of the prep work ahead of time to get breakfast on the table a little faster (although this does need to bake for about an hour.) I think you could mix up the dry ingredients, and cover and store them at room temperature, then mix up the wet ingredients and store them in the refrigerator. The next day, while the oven is preheating, you could cut up the apple, mix the wet and dry ingredients together, mix in the apple, pour into your pan and bake.

I used Cortland apples in this dish, a type with which I’ve had mixed results when baking. This time, they kept their shape and much of their firmness, which I didn’t mind. You could use whatever apple you like to bake with, and if it is an apple that cooks down to a softer texture, you would probably get a baked oatmeal that is moister than what I got. The texture of mine was almost cake-like, which, again, I didn’t mind.

This dish isn’t especially sweet, but you could add maple syrup or more brown sugar to your serving if you’d like. My husband threw himself on a second serving to test this concept with maple syrup and gave it the thumbs-up. You could also use different nuts and dried fruits (or none). I quite liked the dried cranberries and walnuts with the apples and cinnamon. I also quite liked that this makes a full 8-inch square baking dish full of breakfast and the leftovers were also great warmed up for a few days after the original baking day. No effort on weekday mornings: now, that’s exactly what I want for breakfast!

Apple Baked Oatmeal with Walnuts and Cranberries

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup craisins
1 ½ cups diced apples, peel if desired
3 large eggs
1 cups milk
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray or grease as desired.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, walnuts and craisins. Toss together to combine. Stir in the apples.

3. In a medium-size bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk and brown sugar and whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

4. Pour the egg mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

5. Bake at 325 F about 50-60 minutes or until the top is brown and the center is no longer liquid.

Makes 6-8 servings.

One year ago: Parsley Hazelnut Pesto

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