No. 52: Oatmeal-Brown Sugar Baked Apples

It started raining!

While we were away in the mountains, the winter weather finally came to Northern California. Note, 'winter' here means a high of 55 degrees and rain. I know, some of you really hate me right now.

It's been steadily coming down ever since Wednesday. My rain boots are finally parked where they should be, right by the front door.

When it's 'cold' and rainy, there's nothing I want more than a warm baked breakfast. I've already confessed my love of breakfast fruit crisp, so when I saw this yummy apple dessert I thought it might just make a great morning treat.

Because come on, it's basically oatmeal in an apple. That screams breakfast.

Oatmeal Stuffed Apples

Ingredients

Serves 4
4 apples, like Jonagold, Fuji, or Honeycrisp
1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch cloves
1 tablespoon butter, divided in four
1 cup hot water

Optional extras: orange zest, lemon zest, grated ginger, candied ginger, raisins or other dried fruit, chopped nuts, cream cheese, mascarpone, peanut butter, nutella, vanilla ice cream

To make

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the lower-middle position.

Remove the core of the apples, cutting to within a half inch of the bottom of the apple and creating a well roughly 3/4-inch wide. This is easy to do with an apple corer, but can also be done with a melon baller, grapefruit spoon, or a paring knife.

Mix the brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and any extras in a bowl. Divide this mixture between the apples, packing the wells firmly.

Stuffed apple

Arrange the apples in a baking dish and top each one with a pat of butter. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes and remove foil.

Foil removed

(Foil removed.)

Continue baking uncovered until the apples are soft and the brown sugar has melted into a syrup, an additional 20 to 30 minutes. You can test the apples by poking a paring knife through the oatmeal mixture and into the interior of the apple; it should slide into the apple easily with no resistance. The skin on the apples will also become wrinkled and soft by the end of cooking.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream, crème fraîche, or whipped cream. Or if you're like me, serve with some plain Greek yogurt for breakfast. Leftovers will keep for up to a week and can be reheated in the microwave or eaten cold.

The results

While I'm sure this would make a terrific dessert (bonus points for it being easy to cook while you eat dinner), it was a killer rainy day breakfast.

Final

I quartered the recipe, but it all adapted easily. Mr. McCormick and I just split one apple topped with some yogurt. It was like apple pie.

Split

I was a little surprised that the skin of the apple split instead of wrinkled, but it didn't affect the taste a bit.

This dish did remind me of another one of my favorite fruit desserts. If you love peaches, you must try Pioneer Woman's grilled peaches with pecans. And if you're really daring, have it before noon.

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