Friday, March 12, 2010

Amish Oatmeal

I first encountered Amish Oatmeal (or baked oatmeal, as it is also called) during fortuitous circumstances while we were living in Cambridge, MA some years ago. I was early for a church meeting and the women from the previous meeting were still having refreshments. As a result, I was offered my first Amish Oatmeal and was duly impressed.

You may be wondering what the big deal is. Oatmeal, sugar, fruit...sounds like an every day breakfast. But Amish Oatmeal is like a kicked-up oatmeal cookie casserole. I'm glad I had the foresight to make some scrambled eggs to go along with this dish, otherwise I would feel a little guilty for serving it as a meal. In fact, tonight we are going to add vanilla ice cream and eat the leftovers for dessert. (Don't you love dual-use foods? I sure do!)

One final thing before we get down to the recipe. Amish Oatmeal is completely versatile depending on your tastes and what you have on hand. I used apples, raisins, and cranberries because they were available, and my husband explicitly said he didn't want another berry dish for a while. (I can't really blame him. I've gone a little berry crazy recently.) So, this is a great recipe to keep in mind when you have a lot of seasonal fruit to use up. However, you could easily use whatever fruits (dried, fresh, frozen, or canned) you want and I guarantee it will taste good.

Amish Oatmeal
(adapted from Taste of Home)
Printable Recipe
Serves 9

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 heaping cup packed brown sugar (I used the BiH equivalent, which actually isn't very similar at all. Sigh.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 cup fat-free milk, room temperature (I used 0.9% milk. That's as close to fat-free as we've found here.)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup tart apple, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried raisins
Additional brown sugar, optional
Additional fat-free milk, optional

1) In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine the eggs, milk and butter; add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in the apple, cranberries, and raisins.
2) Pour mixture into greased baking dish. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar, if desired.
3) Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with additional brown sugar and milk, if desired. Enjoy!

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