steel cut oatmeal with maple sauteed apples

oatmeal maple sauteed apples 6

On a holiday, who wants cold cereal and milk for breakfast? No, something special is in order for the morning of Thanksgiving, but with a day of feasting ahead, it’s nice to get a somewhat healthy start. And with a day of cooking ahead, breakfast can’t be too complicated.

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Steel-cut oatmeal fits the bill perfectly. Because steel-cut oats take the better part of an hour to cook, you’re probably saving it for weekends already. The oatmeal itself is healthy, but the caramelized apples make it a treat without overdoing the decadence first thing in the morning.

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Steel-cut oatmeal isn’t mushy like oatmeal made from rolled oats is. The larger chunks of groats never completely soften, so it’s almost like eating tapioca pudding for breakfast – if tapioca pudding was packed full of fiber. It tastes nutty and slightly sweet on its own, especially after being toasted, but slices of browned apples make this oatmeal just right for a holiday – without being so decadent that it can’t be enjoyed any weekend.

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One year ago: Shredded Beef Tacos
Two years ago: Pumpkin Mushroom Soup
Three years ago: Decorated Sugar Cookies

Printer Friendly Recipe
Steel-Cut Oatmeal (from Cooks Illustrated)

Serves 4

3 cups water
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
¼ teaspoon table salt

1. Bring the water and milk to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until just beginning to foam; add the oats and toast, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until golden and fragrant with a butterscotch-like aroma, 1½ to 2 minutes.

2. Stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid, reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer gently, until the mixture thickens and resembles gravy, about 20 minutes. Add the salt and stir lightly with the spoon handle. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon handle, until the oats absorb almost all of the liquid and the oatmeal is thick and creamy, with a pudding-like consistency, about 7 to 10 minutes. Off the heat, let the oatmeal stand uncovered for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with maple sautéed apples.

Maple Sautéed Apples (slightly adapted from Bon Appétit via epicurious)

2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
3 large firm apples (about 1½ pounds), peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon plus ½ cup pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; sauté until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in the remaining ½ cup maple syrup and cinnamon; simmer until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.

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  1. omg those apples look and sound gorgeous on that oatmeal! What a breakfast treat!

  2. Just had steel cut oats for the first time the other day. Never would have thought to toast them first. Sounds so good. Thanks for the inspiration, looking forward to breakfast already (only 12 hours to go).

  3. I love steel cut oats! I need to try toasting them. I cook mine overnight in my rice cooker on the brown rice setting (I set the timer so the oats will be ready when I wake up). The whole house smells like cinnamon and toasted oats at 6am! I’ll try this topping.

  4. Yumm…. sounds so delicious. The butterscotch aroma sounds fabulous! I could eat this every morning!!

  5. you’ve figured out how to turn breakfast into dessert…I love it

  6. This sounds absolutely delicious! Best part? I already have everything to make it! I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow! 😀

  7. I have a confession. I’ve never had steel cut oatmeal before…Maybe I should give it a shot.

  8. This looks so good. I wish steel cut oats didn’t take so long to cook. I would have this everyday!

  9. Oh dang, those apples look and sound so totally delicious. What an awesome accompaniment to steel-cut oats. On the weekends, I like to slow cook and huge batch of oatmeal for the week ahead and these will probably become a new topping to add to the mix. Will they keep in the fridge or do you think it’s probably best to just make them fresh each time? Also, do you think this would work with pears too?

  10. bridget says:

    TeenyLittleSuperChef – I think they’ll keep in the fridge really well, and it will definitely work with pears!

  11. This is a wonderful combination, and your photos are stunning!