If you’re like me, you have certain memories, flavors, and smells attached to each season. When I think of fall, my mind goes to changing leaves, cooler temperatures, college football, and my favorite comfort foods. Included in my list of fall comfort foods are soul-warming flavors like apple, cranberries, cinnamon, and pumpkin (so cliche, but so true, right?!).
With this Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, it feels like I’m basically eating fall in a bowl. I prefer to enjoy it with the back door open, letting the cool breeze in while listening to rustling leaves and watching them fall from the trees in our back yard. My ideal morning…and if it’s a Saturday, College GameDay may also be on TV in the background. Y’all know this kind of weather doesn’t last long in Memphis, so I take full advantage when I can!
That being said, I also recognize mornings rarely happen this way for many of you, and fortunately, this oatmeal is perfect for reheating on a busy work or school week morning. The recipe fills a 9 x 13″ dish, so there’s usually plenty leftovers to go around. Pair with a little protein (like eggs, milk, nuts, or yogurt), and you’ve got a delicious, nourishing breakfast that will put you back in your happy place for at least a few minutes before breakfast time is over.
For the cooked apples:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large apples, peeled and sliced (your favorite variety…I use Granny Smith)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
For the oatmeal:
1 cup steel cut oats
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups very hot water (*Kitchen Hack* I use our Keurig without a pod for this. Easy!)
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup maple syrup
½-1 cup dried cranberries or walnuts (optional)
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Place the steel cut oats in a large bowl with 4 tablespoons of butter. Pour the hot water over the oats and cover the bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the apple slices, cinnamon, and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
After the steel cut oats have finished soaking, stir in the old fashioned oats, ½ cup of brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture. Stir in the walnuts or dried cranberries (optional).
Spread the apples over the bottom of a lightly greased 2 quart-ish baking dish. Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the apples. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
**To reheat leftovers, add a splash of milk and heat in microwave ~1 minute.
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