I’m a regular customer of a certain bookstore in my area; it’s close to my work, close to my friends, and full of books – what more could a girl want (except maybe a book vending machine, but that’s another rant for another time)? It follows that one of my favorite lazy afternoon activities is going to said bookstore and browsing, page after page, cover after cover, until feeling all browsed out.

For the past few months, ever since this cookbook came out, I’ve been flipping through it every time I go to the bookstore. I love everything about it, the photography, the writing, the recipes, and, I’ll repeat for emphasis, the recipes. And, shortly before the book came out, I saw a lot of the same dish from the cookbook in the interwebs. Everyone was making baked oatmeal and raving wildly about it. Every time I saw it on a blog I had to stop myself from drooling and do everything in my power to wriggle free from the cinnamon spiked, warm, berry-filled baked deliciousness that would take hold of my brain. Every time I flipped through the cookbook, on one of my lazy afternoons, I always thought to myself, “why the heck haven’t I made this yet?”

So why the heck haven’t I made this yet, eh? It’s always something, you know. There’s some other breakfast treat that catches my eye right before I make my Breakfast Tuesday decision and it steals the spotlight. Not today, friends. The spotlight is shining directly on baked oatmeal. I’m letting it fully take hold of my brain and taste buds and I finally understand the perseveration and power of this particular breakfast recipe. It’s easy, you have most of the ingredients on hand, and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like a breakfast blankie on a cold day (it may be August, but in Boston it has been cold and gray this entire week, so a breakfast blankie was definitely in order).

 

Baked Oatmeal

(Recipe adapted from Lottie and Doof, from 101 Cookbooks)

Serves 6 to 8, or more if part of a brunch spread

Note: I did not change the recipe but substituted some ingredients for ones that I had on hand. The original recipe calls for more butter in order to pour it on top when finished, but I left out that step. Below is the recipe exactly as I made it and I strongly suggest you click the link above for the original recipe so you can customize it accordingly!

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled, or traditional, oats (not quick cooking)

½ cup walnut pieces, chopped and toasted, separated into two ¼ cup portions

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 cups almond milk

1 egg

1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 peach, medium ripe, sliced on the thin side

1 ½ cups cherries, pitted and quartered

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and generously butter bottom and sides of an 8 inch baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, sugar, ¼ cup walnuts, baking powder, and salt.

3. In another medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract, and whisk until smooth.

4. Arrange peach slices in a single layer on bottom of baking pan. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cherries evenly over peaches. Cover fruit evenly with oat mixture. Pour liquid ingredients evenly over oats. Drop baking pan on counter a few times to make sure liquid permeates oatmeal layer. Sprinkle rest of cherries and rest of walnuts over top.

5. Bake oatmeal in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until top is golden and oatmeal has set. (I put the baking pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips because my pan was full to brim with oatmeal goodness.)

6. Let oatmeal cool for 5 to 10 minutes once out of oven. Serve warm with extra butter, syrup, or cream!

I’ve had good luck with storing oatmeal in the fridge and reheating as needed.

 

I spend a lot of time browsing recipes, either for the blog or for my own personal enjoyment, and sometimes feel like I’ve seen everything. As you’re well aware, it’s impossible to have seen everything in this complex, ever-changing world of ours, but sometimes you can’t help but follow that line of thought. It sounds odd but I’m pretty thankful for these existential ruts because they motivate me to rethink the way I do things. It’s not that everything in the world is the same, it’s that I’m seeing it that way and believing it, and have to find another method to my madness.

It’s almost that time of the week again, and I’m going through heaps of breakfast recipes, in books, on the internet, in magazaines, in my head, etc. All of a sudden I find myself stuck in the philosophical mud described above and have to get out. Instead of looking at recipes, I start looking at photographs and having a bit of fun, ooh-ing and ahh-ing, trying not to drool and marveling over the sheer talent of the photographers (who are not professionals but have an amazing sense of styling and lighting and all the parts that make one a great food photographer). I’m thankful to have access to all these pictures and even more grateful to have the recipes for most of the images just a click away. In the middle of my photo-surfing, I see it. There. A light and fluffy slice of soufflé-ed perfection dotted with berries and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I click to the recipe. It’s a soufflé pancake. Excuse me? A SOUFFLE PANCAKE.  How I have I never heard of such a marvelous creation? How have I not made them at least once a week for the past… forever?! What a brilliant idea! There’s something new on the immediate horizon and I am back in the preferred mindset of “goodness gracious, look at all the different and amazing things around us!”

As a warning, you might be seeing these a lot more around here, but I doubt that’ll be an issue once you’ve tried it and are as amazed as I was at the texture, presentation, and versatility of this recipe. Happy Breakfast Tuesday!

Ricotta Souffle Pancake with Peaches

(Recipe adapted from Honest Cooking, originally Lemon Ricotta Souffle Pancake with Berries)

Serves 6 to 8

Note: The original recipe has a ton of suggestions for what to put on top of the pancake, things like dried fruit, nuts, bananas, blueberries, etc. I just used peaches because that’s what I had on hand, and the idea of some sort of peach-ricotta pancake made me weak in the knees.

Ingredients:

¾ cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

4 eggs, separated

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (separated, 2 tablespoons for pan and 2 tablespoons melted and cooled slightly)

2/3 cup ricotta

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup roughly chopped peaches, or other fruit/topping*

2 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling

*I used about a ½ cup chopped peaches and was very pleased with the fruit to pancake ratio.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet into oven.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, ricotta, milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth.

4. In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.

5. Add dry ingredients to yolk mixture and combine well. Add a dollop of whipped egg white and stir to loosen batter. Fold in remaining whites until combined, taking care not to over mix.

6. Remove skillet from oven and put remaining two tablespoons butter in skillet to melt. When butter is melted, pour batter evenly into pan. Sprinkle chopped fruit evenly over top, and then sprinkle granulated sugar over everything.

7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until top is puffed and pancake is set. (My pancake did not brown on top, as the original recipe noted, but did brown around the edges.)

8. Cool in skillet for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Storage: Like most soufflé-related baked goods, this pancake won’t keep nicely and is best served on the day it’s made.