For the longest time I wasn’t the greatest fan of oatmeal, at least when cooked in milk the usual way. The lumpy look and the weird smell and the mushy texture really turned me off. However, I was always a good friend of oatmeal in muesli, and in cookies, and in this baked oatmeal recipe.
The original recipe is actually one that is offered by Quaker Oats, and it caught my attention as it went through a bout of extreme popularity on the Cooking Light forums some time ago. I like to add nuts and dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cranberries, and an apple, a banana, a pear, a peach, or any fresh seasonal fruit is a great addition, too.
I call it a clafoutis because the texture reminds me of the typically French, grandmotherly dessert, and a slice of this oatmeal for breakfast or brunch is a delightful way to start the day : tasty, filling and healthful. You can have it with a side of yogurt and fruit; it is also nice with a thin spread of jam or peanut butter.
About the cinnamon I use
I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you don’t know what cinnamon tastes like until you’ve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.
- 250 grams (2 1/2 cups) quick cooking or old-fashioned oats, uncooked (use certified gluten-free oats to make this gluten-free)
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) unrefined cane sugar
- 100 grams (2/3 cup) raisins or dried cranberries (substitute other dried fruits)
- 40 grams (1/4 to 1/3 cup) nuts such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts..., roughly chopped (optional; omit to make this nut-free)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced, or grated
- 800 ml (3 1/3 cups) milk (use non-dairy to make this dairy-free)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Lightly oil a 20-by-20-cm (8-by-8-inch) baking dish.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, raisins, chopped nuts, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the eggs, grated apple if using it grated (sliced is added later), milk, and vanilla, mixing well between each addition.
- Pour into the prepared dish, and use a spoon to distribute the solids evenly. If using apple slices, arrange them on top.
- If possible, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for the oatmeal to plump up.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F), and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the center is set and firm to the touch.
- Let cool before serving, slightly warm, at room temperature, or cold.
- You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered, or wrap each serving individually and put in the freezer. You can then take a serving out the night before and leave it out to thaw until morning.
- Loosely adapted from a Quaker Oats recipe.