I’ve been doing inventive cooking again.
I generally enjoy oatmeal, except that after I eat it I usually feel like it’s just sitting in my stomach like a pile of gravel. I made some baked oatmeal dishes I found online and those, while an improvement in flavor and texture, ended up feeling just as heavy. Then, I had an oatmeal souffle at the Hay Adams last year before Ryan left for California. Whoa.
I’ve been wanting to replicate it. It’s been so long now since I tasted theirs, I don’t exactly recall the flavor but the texture was the primary goal. Whether the goal has been precisely matched is presently beside the point for I believe I can declare this dish a victory in its own right. I thought I’d share what I came up with in case you want to give it a try. While this is obviously more work than normal oatmeal and dirties up a few dishes, it’s light and airy and custardy and yet oatmealy which is sort of a delightful taste-oxymoron. I also love that it gets some extra protein into the oats with the eggs and nuts. It doesn’t quite puff up like a traditional souffle what with oatmeal making a pretty heavy batter; it might be more accurately described as a pudding. Whatever it is, we liked it and hope you will too! Take it for a test drive and let me know what you think. =)
This makes between 4-6 servings depending on your appetite. You could probably halve it with the same results or prepare it in individual ramekins. I used plain almond milk for ours (Ryan has a lactose sensitivity), but I imagine a creamy whole milk would work. For obvious flavor reasons, I’m not endorsing skim milk, but if you dig it, go for it.
To save time the day you plan to eat this dish, I’ve divided the work into “Night Before” and “Next Morning” (if you decide to do it all the same day, remember to let the oatmeal cool before you add eggs or you’ll be so sad)
T = Tablespoon, t = teaspoon
2 Cups Cooked Oatmeal:
– 1 1/4 cups thick rolled oats (not instant)
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup plain almond milk (or whole milk)
– 1/4 t salt
Bring water, milk, and salt to a boil. Turn heat down and stir in oats. Continue to stir gently until liquid is mostly absorbed and oats are cooked through. Store in the fridge until tomorrow.
Prepare Berries or Stone Fruits for Stewing:
– Any combination of your favorite fresh berries or stone fruits. Peel/wash/stem/slice or skip this step and use frozen fruit in the morning. Ideally, you should have between 1 1/2 – 2 cups fruit.
– 1 Cup of cooked oats from last night, packed (reserve the other cup)
– 1/3 cup all purpose flour
– 1/2 t baking powder
– 1/4 t baking soda
– 1/4 t cinnamon
– 2 egg yolks
– 1/2 cup almond milk or whole milk
– splash of vanilla
– big handful of walnuts
– big pinch of salt
– additional 1/4 cup almond milk or whole milk
– scant 2 T dark brown sugar + up to 2 T for sprinkling
– 3-4 T unsalted butter in pieces
– 1/2 t white sugar
– 4 egg whites
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Place the first set of ingredients (1 cup cooked oats all the way through big pinch of salt) in your vitamix or other blender. Blend until a smooth and thick batter is produced.
2. Scrape out and combine with the reserved cup of oats in a large bowl. Add the additional 1/4 cup of almond milk to help thin the batter.
3. Place butter in a large souffle or round cake pan. Put the pan in the oven for 1-2 minutes, just until the butter is melted. Swirl the butter around the bottom and sides of the pan to coat and put the remainder into a tiny bowl.
4. Add the scant 2 T brown sugar to the bowl with the butter and mix until the sugar dissolves. Pour contents into oat mixture and combine thoroughly.
5. In a separate large clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the 1/2 tsp of white sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
6. Fold the beaten egg whites gently in three additions into the oat mixture until just mixed.
7. Sprinkle the bottom of the buttered pan with up to 2 T brown sugar. (Don’t skip this step! Yum!)
8. Carefully pour the batter over the sprinkled sugar.
If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. It will not get big like a traditional souffle, but will be custardy and delicious and light.
**Note: You can also bake these in individual ramekins as a more tidy presentation. Obviously, cooking time will decrease.**
While the souffle is baking:
Cook down your prepared or frozen fruits uncovered in about a tablespoon of butter over medium heat until they form a sauce – about 20-30 minutes or so. I like the sauce tart so I don’t sweeten it. If you want it a little sweeter, I recommend adding a tablespoon or two of REAL grade B maple syrup instead of sugar.
Spoon your fruit sauce over your portion of oatmeal souffle and enjoy!
** I haven’t tried this yet, but I bet adding an oatmeal crumble topping (like for a fruit crisp) prior to baking would be an excellent, tasty, crunchable idea. **