This morning, as I zombie-stumbled to my coffee pot, I noticed 3 wrinkling apples in my fruit bowl. After I had my coffee firmly planted in my cup which was glued to my hand, I went back to take a closer look. You know that stage when apples have been sitting around a few days too long? When their skins become a little wrinkly and they start to feel slightly rubbery to the touch? Well, my three aging apples were staring me down this morning, daring me to do something. Choices: throw them in the trash or cut them up and see what happens. Since I hate to waste anything, I decided to peel and chop them and turn them into a lovely breakfast of caramel apple oatmeal. Have I ever cooked or eaten caramel apple oatmeal before? Nope. But that didn’t stop me.
To make this, you will need:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup of brown sugar, packed
2 ½ to 3 cups of peeled, diced apples (I used Gala)
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of extra-thick rolled oats
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar starts to melt and the mixture starts to bubble a little. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. When the apples turn a nice opaque brown and the caramel sauce is bubbling and starting to thicken, they’re done. Pour the apples into a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
In the same saucepan (don’t rinse it out), heat the water, milk and salt until it starts to bubble gently. Add the oats, give them a good stir, and place a lid on the pan. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until most of the moisture is absorbed. When it’s done, give it another good stir for good measure. Now grab your apples. Set aside a few spoonfuls for garnish, then pour the apples and caramel syrup into the pan of oatmeal. Stir until well combined. Spoon into serving bowls and top with the reserved apples. This smells SO good!
If you like your oatmeal slightly sweetened, eat it as is. The sweetness of the apples and caramel syrup pair beautifully with creamy oatmeal. If you like oatmeal on the sweet side, add a drizzle of maple syrup. And that’s all there is to creamy caramel goodness in a bowl. What a great way to start your day!
Note: if you are using quick cooking oats, please follow the cooking times listed on your package. Times listed above are for old-fashioned extra-thick rolled oats. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. Bob’s Red Mill oats also make the best oatmeal cookies. (See Monday’s post for my Cinnamon Oatmeal cookie recipe.) Warm, chewy cinnamon oatmeal goodness. Judge for yourself!