As a child, I didn’t realize how lucky I was that Grandma Susan always kept a full collection of hot cereal options in her pantry, from Cream of Wheat to Malt-O-Meal, and from grits to old-fashioned rolled oats. I might have even protested and asked why I couldn’t eat cold, colorful, sugary cereals like other kids. How fortunate I was to have someone make me a hot, wholesome breakfast, studded with plump raisins and nuts. Later on, when I no longer lived with Grandma, I missed the hot breakfasts and the care and safety that came with them. As an adult, I often crave a steaming bowl of hot cereal, particularly when I am not feeling well and am in dire need of a dose of comfort and a hug from Grandma.
When it comes to oats, slow and steady wins the race. I opt for the longer-cooking rolled oats over quick oats every time, as quick oats are almost always gluey in texture. But if you’re not interested in standing over the stove boiling and stirring your oats in the morning, baking them like this is a great option, particularly if you’re cooking for a crowd.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 1 large Bartlett pear, quartered and cored
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 0.33 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 13" × 9" baking dish.
- Chop three-quarters of the pear into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle the chopped pears evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Slice the remaining quarter of the pear into thin slices and set them aside to top the oatmeal. Sprinkle ½ cup of the blueberries into the pan with the pears, reserving the rest of the blueberries to put on top.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking powder until combined. Scatter the oat mixture evenly over the fruit in the pan.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the oats. Top with the pear slices and remaining ½ cup blueberries.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and set. Spoon generous heaps of the baked oatmeal into serving bowls. Pour milk over top of the oatmeal and serve with brown sugar on the side to sweeten, if needed.