I know what you’re thinking—“Whoa, whoa, whoa, TWO steel cut oat recipes in one month?” Well . . . what can I say? I tried this recipe, and I just had to share a whole new favorite breakfast for a cold January morning. I’m in a delicious, delicious rut.
Sweet baked apples with cinnamon and maple syrup, a hint of rich, salty peanut butter, and tender nutty-tasting Hodgson Mill Steel Cut Oats suspended in just enough creamy custard—this might be the most perfect breakfast known to man. Best of all, it makes about 6-8 servings, and leftovers heat up marvelously in the microwave, or wrapped in foil and heated gently in the oven. I could see myself making this recipe for a breakfast buffet, since it’s much easier to serve than regular oatmeal, and more forgiving if it’s cooled a bit.
The hardest part about this recipe is that you have to think ahead to soak the oats the night before. Put in plenty of water; at least 6-8 cups (When I checked it before heading to bed, I had to add more water to cover the top with plenty to spare.) As I was developing this recipe, I read one recipe inspiration that called for a dollop of yogurt (or whey, kefir, or buttermilk, or something acidic like lemon or vinegar) to be mixed in with the soaking oats. The theory is that the acid from the yogurt or similar helps reduce phytic acid in the grain, which keeps our bodies from absorbing minerals. Does anyone have more information on this? (In any case, soaking helps the grains cook faster, so don’t skip this step.)
Back to the delicious reason we’re here: Next morning, drain your nice fluffy oats, give them a quick rinse, and put them in a large bowl. (I used the same bowl.)
In another large bowl, blend the eggs until light and fluffy, then blend in milk and maple syrup. A whisk works great for this process. Pour the mixture over the drained oats.
Now chop the apples small enough so they will fit on a fork with room for some other good stuff.
Make sure you use good baking apples—I could only find Granny Smiths right now, and they worked very well, but red Rome or Winesap apples are also exceptionally pretty and tasty in this dish (and they turn it pink!). Good baking apples like these bake down soft and keep a great flavor, but still hold their shape. Those are my go-to baking apples. Does anyone have other suggestions?
Add the chopped apple to the oat-custard mixture, along with the spoonfuls of peanut butter, the salt, and the cinnamon. Mix well.
Spoon/pour this strange mixture (it’s both liquid and chunks, and may splash) into a 9 x 13-inch pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Take care to distribute the oats and apples evenly, so you don’t have to stir and disturb the nonstick spray coating. Dust the top with more cinnamon. There we are –ready to bake.
Pop in the oven, and take it out when it’s browned on top and smells absolutely delicious—like some strange mix of apple-y French toast/bread pudding/cinnamon oatmeal custard. (I had a hard time naming this dish.)
Let it cool for a few minutes, then serve it up with sides of maple syrup and peanut butter, to let people personalize to their tastes. Bon appetit!
I’m going to try this very flexible recipe again with different add-ins; I’m thinking berries and walnuts, or maybe leaving out add-ins altogether so it’s really custard-y then after cooking, slather it with orange marmalade and a little honey. Any more ideas?
Baked Apple Peanut Butter Steel Cut Oats
- 3 cups Hodgson Mill Steel Cut Oats, soaked overnight in water (and 1 Tablespoon yogurt, optional)
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups 2% milk (whole milk makes this very decadent)
- ¼ cup real maple syrup (not pancake syrup).
- 4 Tablespoons peanut butter (other nut butters work well, too)
- 1 ½ – 2 cups good baking apples, chopped into small pieces (like Granny Smith, Rome, Winesap)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Pour oats into plenty of water and mix in yogurt, if using. Leave overnight, or around 8 hours, in a warm place to soak.
On baking day, preheat oven to 400° F, and spray a 9 x 13” pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Drain and rinse the soaked oats and put in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate large bowl, whisk eggs until light and frothy, add milk and maple syrup and mix. Pour this mixture over the oats. Add chopped apple, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon and mix well, making sure peanut butter is blended in and not in large chunks.
Pour or spoon mixture into prepared pan and distribute oats and apple chunks evenly throughout. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until browned on top. (If using a metal pan, bake on a higher rack in the oven to prevent bottom burning, and check at 30-35 minutes.) Remove from oven and cool slightly, then serve with extra maple syrup and peanut butter on the side.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Keep in sealed container in fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheats beautifully in microwave or loosely wrapped in foil in oven at 200° for 15 minutes.Substitute other fruits (dried, frozen, or fresh), nuts, preserves, spices, and other add-ins to make up bulk (1 ½ – 2 cups or to taste), and let us know what works in the comments!
Timesaving tip to do the night before: mix together wet ingredients (eggs, milk, and maple syrup) the night before, when you set the oats to soak, and chop the apples. (Spritz chopped apples with lemon juice and seal in a plastic bag to prevent browning). In the morning, just drain oats, mix in the rest of the ingredients, spread in prepared pan and bake.