Baked Oatmeal with Apples & Cranberries

BakedOatmealAppleCran2Last weekend I had one Granny Smith apple languishing in the fruit bowl, and all week long I had envisioned using it in a variation of a baked oatmeal dish I love to eat on leisurely weekends.

Along came the weekend and I began to scour the cupboards for additions to the concoction brewing in my mind. First, though, I wanted more apples but didn’t want a trip to the market. Oddly, our June-bearing apple tree has ever-so-slowly been ripening several apples which had germinated during the late fall heatwave (thank you bumble bees), so I picked a couple even though they hadn’t come to complete fruition yet (meaning they were miniscule in size and thwarted by the recent cold weather).

What pairs well with apples? Cranberries! And I happened to have some dried cranberries leftover from the holiday Macadamia Butter Cookies. Perfect.

Digging around in the freezer, I spotted a bag of forgotten flaxseed. Why not toss some into the oat mix?

Looking for nuts, I found a handful of sliced almonds that I had intended to use in a cookie recipe but never got around to making. And then I spotted a bag of turbinado sugar hiding in the pantry. Well, I decided to toss them all into the mix.

BakedOatmealAppleCran3

And what a yummy mix this dish turned out to be. First of all, it makes the house smell heavenly with the aroma of apples and cinnamon. Second, baked apples with tart cranberries and crunchy nuts just feels so deliciously luscious on a weekend morning when I get to hang out in my pajamas and not rush off to work. Perfect weekend breakfast fare. And the leftovers? Heated up, they make a hearty and warm breakfast for those very early work mornings when I’m out of the house before dawn to get to work and attack a stack of student essays, made all the more bearable with a belly full and warm.

Mind you, this can be made with simply apples and whatever other fruit you want to pair with apples. Use nuts (or not)–whatever kind you have on hand. The dish is very adaptable to suit your tastes and what you have on hand. Whatever you combine, I’m sure it will taste absolutely scrumptious.

BakedOatmealAppleCran

Baked Oatmeal with Apples & Cranberries

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small apples or 1 large, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces (I used a combo of the tart Granny Smith and a sweeter, firm apple like Fuji)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted, divided (I used 1/4 cup chopped pecans in the baked oatmeal and then used 1/4 cup sliced almonds to sprinkle on top)
  • 1/4 + 1 tbsp. cup dried cranberries, divided (or use other dried fruit, such as blueberries or tart cherries)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (the thicker kind rather than the thin instant oats; I buy mine from the bulk bins at Sprouts or Whole Foods)
  • 1 tbsp. flaxseed (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp. apple spice mix (1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp nutmeg + 1/4 tsp allspice), divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, regular syrup, or honey (maple gives best flavor)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. turbinado sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter and allow it to cool while mixing rest of ingredients.
  3. Peel, core, and slice apples. Mix with 1 tsp. of the cinnamon or apple spice. Spread evenly over the bottom of a 7 x 11 baking dish or a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
  4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the nuts and 1/4 cup of the cranberries over the apples.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flaxseed, baking powder, remaining 3/4 tsp. apple spice mix, and salt. Sprinkle the oat mixture in an even layer over the apples/cranberries/nuts.
  6. To the melted and cooled butter, add the syrup (or honey), milk, egg, and vanilla. Stir with a fork to combine. Pour evenly over the oats.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts, 1 tbsp. cranberries, and 1 tsp. turnbinado sugar (optional but it adds a heavenly light sweet and crunchy touch).
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

SOURCE: adapted from Baked Oatmeal post

Maple Oatmeal Scones

The suggestion that seckel pear jam pairs well with oatmeal scones prompted me to try this maple version. It’s a very hearty scone, on the dense side, and ever-so-slightly on the dry side. It’s also not overly sweet. It’s barely sweet, actually. The sugar drizzle on top is almost a necessity!

Although I really can’t rave about this particular recipe, I can say I liked it–not love but just like. I must say, though, that the seckel pear jam certainly complements this. It adds moisture and sweetness to balance the heartiness of the scone.

And that’s it. A short and sweet blog post :  )

Maple Oatmeal Scones

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INGREDIENTS

Scones

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter–cold and diced
  • 1/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. maple extract
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk or water, for egg wash

Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Blend in the cold butter at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
  4. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs and add quickly to the flour mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.
  5. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and pat the dough into a circle until it is about 3/4-inch or 1-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut the circle of dough into 8 wedges and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  6. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
  8. Combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle onto scones. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle a bit of oats onto the tops for garnish.

SOURCE: Food Network/Ina Garten

Baked Oatmeal

How about a change of pace from the dessert recipes? Let me share an easy and healthy breakfast dish: Baked Oatmeal. Yes, it takes awhile to bake in the oven, but it results in thick, creamy oatmeal balanced with the sweetness of bananas and the tartness of berries…oh, and the crunch of nuts, too. Overall delish dish.

I buy bags of frozen mixed berries from Costco and use those in the recipe. I love the variety of blueberries and raspberries and blackberries–lots of tart tastes poppin’ in the mouth. If you don’t have maple syrup, use regular instead. And I buy oats from the bins at Sprouts or Whole Foods.

This would make a fun holiday breakfast in case you want something different. Best part: it’s on the healthier side!

Baked Oatmeal

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted, divided (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I have used regular syrup, too)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), divided (I use up to two cups and I used mixed berries)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; stir to combine.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
  4. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish, followed by half of the berries. (I’ve also made this in individual ramekins instead of one big dish.)
  5. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer.
  6. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and berries.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set.
  9. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

SOURCE: Annie’s Eats via The Curvy Carrot who got recipe from the cookbook Super Natural Every Day