baked pumpkin oatmeal
I’ve been wanting to try steel-cut oatmeal for a while. I was somehow fascinated by the idea that little pellets resembling bird food could somehow turn into the oatmeal I know and love. But it was so freakin’ expensive (okay, not really, but relative to cheap-as-dirt rolled oats)! Which is why, when my mom and I went to the Atlantic Spice Company a.k.a. the greatest, I was all over buying a 1-pound bag of the stuff at bulk prices.
But this recipe was all it took to light a fire under my butt. I had also conveniently hoarded a can of pumpkin after a traumatic experience of hunting everywhere for pumpkin to make pumpkin pancakes only to come home with a can of pumpkin pie filling (which worked fine, by the way–just cut out some/all of the sugar and the spices!). And I’m moderately-to-extremely obsessed with anything pumpkin-flavored, no matter if it’s an unseasonable 80 degrees outside. *And* this recipe promised to make a big batch of oatmeal that we could microwave in bowlfuls throughout the week for easy and filling breakfasts. What more could I ask for?
This baby lived up to my expectations. I was a little hesitant about mixing fruit into things, but the brightness of the apple did a great job of balancing the warm, nutty, spicy, pumpkiny oatmeal. I especially enjoyed how the caramelized apple juices bubbled up around the edges, leaving a ring of sugary goodness that’s still acceptable to eat for breakfast. Yum.
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
1 cup steel cut oats
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 cups very hot water [I would almost try microwaving/simmering the water first–I just used the hottest tap water and the butter wasn’t quite melted in the first step after sitting for 20 minutes.]
2-3 medium apples, sliced
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash ground cloves
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the steel cut oats in a large bowl with 4 tablespoons of the butter. Pour the hot water over the oats and cover the bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the caramelized apples. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon to the pan. Toss gently and cook briefly, about 2 minutes. [This recipe was originally written for bananas, not apples, and I wasn’t crazy about the idea of crunchy apples in the oatmeal, so I cooked them until they were just starting to soften and the sauce was nice and syrupy–about 5-10 minutes.] Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. After the steel cut oats have finished soaking, stir in the old fashioned oats, remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, remaining 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture.
4. Spread the apples over the bottom of a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the apples. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Source: adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats