The clouds are low today in Seattle. So low that I saw the top of one of them on the way to work.
Have you ever been just outside of an extremely foggy area and driven directly into it in such a way that you swear you could feel the transition despite all your car windows being closed? It’s rather surreal, and makes the world feel unmistakably autumn.
Days like these need soft blankets, warm puppy snuggles and hot breakfasts.
Your basic oatmeal is a standard for many people “on the go” who want a hot breakfast that’s doesn’t take much time. I don’t hate oatmeal, but we’ve never been best friends. Something about the texture and how goopy it is. Baked oatmeal, however, sounded like something I could get to know.
It starts off looking like your ordinary oatmeal. But there are ingredients hiding in there, waiting to make it something more once it mingles with heat. An egg. Some baking powder. You can’t see it, but it’s there.
A little less subtly included, there’s dried fruit.
For additional texture, some nuts.
And my absolute favourite part of this oatmeal, one big fresh apple.
Chopped up thick and chunky. We’re not trying to bake the apples away here folks. We want their crispness only slightly softened so they become a sharp contrast to the surrounding oatmeal in both flavour and texture in a delicious way.
I find the apples make the whole thing taste a little bit like a bite of apple crumble. One of those particularly special spoonfuls that’s mostly crumble.
Speaking of crumble..
Well, it’s not a real crumble, it’s just brown sugar and cinnamon, but even I feel like putting crumble on top of a sweet baked oatmeal is a little overkill! The cinnamon brown sugar is just a nice extra hit of spicy sweetness in each bite.
I may not be best friends with normal oatmeal, but this stuff? I can’t stop eating it. I eat about half a pan a day. I have a tendency to eat random spoonfuls of it over the sink.
And on a day like this? Even made the night before and reheated in the microwave the next morning, it’s like a bowl of utter warmth and coziness.
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 cups quick cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries
- 1/4 chopped walnuts
- 1 large apple, cored and cubed (I prefer to leave the peel on for texture and visual interest but feel free to peel the apple if you want to)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Beat together oil and 3/4 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix in egg, water, milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together salt, baking powder, oats, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until combined. Stir in dried fruit and walnuts. Gently stir in apple pieces. Pour into a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan. Combine remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top. (Can be made a day ahead of time, keep refrigerated and remove from fridge a half hour prior to baking.)
- Bake in preheated oven until firm, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.
The leftovers keep quite well, straight from the pan or reheated in the microwave! Play with the recipe using some of your favourite baked fruits.