Throughout any given day, I am usually thinking about the cup of coffee I will have at breakfast the next morning. I know that if I make myself a second cup of coffee sometime in the mid-afternoon, it won’t have the same flavor as my first-thing-in-the-morning cup because nothing compares to the steaming mug of delicious bitterness that has revived my consciousness.
Even though I am often daydreaming about the next morning’s coffee, I rarely think about the next morning’s breakfast.
But this morning was an exception.
Yesterday, I made a batch of apple baked oatmeal, and the smell of apple pie spices filled the kitchen. I thought about dishing some out of the Pyrex pan for dessert, but decided to wait and let it serve its intended purpose.
It was worth the wait. (And yes, it was especially delicious alongside my morning caffeine.) The apples were as soft as pie apples, and the oatmeal was soft, too.
This recipe helps carve out time on busy mornings since you can make it in advance. And that gift of time on a busy morning is a good one to give to others. When we moved into our new apartment, a friend not only invited my husband and me over for dinner, but also handed me a pan of baked oatmeal to take home, so that we could have a relaxing morning and focus on unpacking. So along with the hints of cloves, cinnamon and baked apples, this recipe will always carry a flavor of generosity.
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2½ cups milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2-3 large tart, sweet apples, cored and chopped
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 325.
- Mix together oats, baking powder, spices and sugar. Mix together milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and let stand 5-10 minutes until most of the liquid has soaked into the oats. Pour melted butter over this and stir.
- Add chopped apples to the bottom of the greased baking dish. Pour oats overtop.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
- (To make ahead, do not bake until the morning. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight, then uncover and bake in the morning.)