I love having a captive audience to test new kitchen experiments, especially when they are willing and eager to try them. A few weekends ago we celebrated a dear friend’s upcoming wedding with a relaxing bachelorette weekend down at Rehoboth Beach. Since we had a kitchen, we planned on cooking most of our meals (fine by me!). So, in addition to produce and eggs from the farm I brought with me the ingredients to make baked oatmeal.
Baked oatmeal is one of the many dishes I had never heard of before moving to South Central Pennsylvania (hog maw anyone? Seriously, Wikipedia has a page dedicated to the local cuisine!). It’s oatmeal made casserole-style, so that it’s gooey on the inside and crunchy like granola on top. Plus, you can flavor it and add any fruit, nut or grain you want. It’s an awesome and versatile fall or winter breakfast dish! But since you make it in a casserole I really wanted a crowd to feed, hence the bachelorette weekend being a perfect opportunity. Though now I just make a batch at the beginning of the week and heat up a slice each morning for breakfast.
Here’s how to make baked oatmeal:
- 3 C Irish thick cut oats
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 C milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 C butter (melted)
- 3/4 C dried cranberries (or any dried fruit)
1. Preheat your oven to 350. Mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. (If going on a trip, you can do what I did and mix them together in a Ziploc and finish making it whenever you’re ready.)
2. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. If you have given the melted butter a chance to cool, go ahead and add it to the wet mixture; if you haven’t let it cool, you’ll end up with the scrambled egg mixture I did the first time.
3. Add the wet ingredient mix to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly. If your butter wasn’t cooled enough add it now, the mixture has enough in it that you shouldn’t end up with scrambled eggs. Stir in the dried cranberries.
4. Place the mixture in a 9×9 or 11×7 baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a crisp brown on top.
I love to pour fresh milk over a slice of baked oatmeal or top with fresh fruit, apples in particular. You can make any version of this you can imagine — add pumpkin, flax seed, nuts, fruit, you name it.