Before I dive headfirst into the Christmas season, I wanted to include one last Thanksgiving/harvest-related post. First, the post-Thanksgiving notes:
- The Caramel Apple Pie recipe I used for Thanksgiving is IT, folks. It was incredible. My final apple mix was three large Honeycrisp and five medium Granny Smith apples to get the nine cups of apples required for the recipe; it hit the “mostly sweet with a barely-there hint of tart” flavor balance I had been trying to achieve. I may eat my words after the Christmas pie clinic with Dr. O’s grandmother, but for now, this is the only apple pie recipe I’m going to use.
- The Broccoli and Gruyere Gratin recipe produced perfect results. The broccoli was tender but not one bit mushy, and the cheese sauce and cheesy top were absolutely delicious. I especially like this recipe because you can assemble it up to one day ahead, bring it to room temperature, and bake it whenever you’re ready. It’s going to become a staple in my house for entertaining for sure.
Second, I wanted to post the last Thanksgiving-related dish I’ll put on the site until next year: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. I discovered this recipe a few weeks ago when a blog visitor checked out my instructions for making pumpkin puree and mentioned that she planned to use the puree to make this particular oatmeal. I still have some leftover pumpkin puree from the Chocolate-Pumpkin Tart I made for Thanksgiving and could think of no better use for it than making a warm, comforting breakfast for Dr. O and myself. (Note: I made a half recipe of the oatmeal since it was just the two of us; see the posted recipe for original ingredient quantities.)
First, I preheated the oven to 375F and greased two individual-sized ramekins. (Since the recipe didn’t offer a specific recommendation for ramekin size, I used 8-ounce ramekins; I probably would have been better off with 4- or 6-ounce ramekins.)
In a small bowl, I stirred together 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats, 1 1/4 tablespoons of packed brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of allspice, 1/16 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon of table salt. In a separate small bowl, I whisked together 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of softened unsalted butter, 3/8 cup of pumpkin puree, and 3/8 cup of milk. I poured the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture and stirred until everything was combined.
I divided the oatmeal mixture evenly between the two ramekins, placed the ramekins on a baking sheet, and baked them for 10 minutes at 375F. Meanwhile, I made the topping. I combined 1/8 cup of chopped pecans, 1 teaspoon of softened unsalted butter, and 1/2 tablespoon of packed brown sugar. After the oatmeal had baked for 10 minutes, I divided the topping evenly between the two ramekins and returned them to the oven for an additional 7 minutes. I let the oatmeal cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Texturally, the oatmeal was out of this world. It was warm and creamy, and I loved the crunch from the pecan topping. In terms of flavor, it was good, but I thought it was a bit too spiced. I think this was intended to be a healthy recipe, so my “improvements” would take away from that a bit; I’d double the amount of brown sugar and butter in the oatmeal part of the recipe. (The topping was just fine as is.) I would also cut the amount of nutmeg and allspice to a quick sprinkle each to create a more balanced flavor. With the changes indicated, I would definitely bring this one back next year.
TIPS: Feel free to substitute canned pumpkin for the fresh pumpkin puree.
Recipe link: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal