Good bye mediocre apple oatmeal with your chunks of flavorless and limp apples, hello warm, tart, sweet goodness! My hunt for the apple oatmeal of my dreams has come to its end, and not only do I have a satisfying and healthy breakfast, but I can also pretend I’m eating pie. Any instance that I can pretend I’m eating pie is good.
The trick here is to forgo adding the apples to the pot with the oatmeal. This drains them of all flavor and doesn’t even have the courtesy of infusing the oatmeal with it’s apple essence. It just turns blah. So the perfect solution is to caramelize the apples in a skillet until they start to soften, but still have bite, letting the brown sugar make things heavenly. And it’s just a bit of sugar, mind you. No need to call your thoracic heart surgeon. It’s a little indulgence, and we all need those.
Heat 1 1/2 – 2 cups of prepared oatmeal in a pot over low heat. Add 1/2 cup of liquid, I used half milk, half water, and stir gently to incorporate. Cover and heat through. Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice 1 Jonagold, or any other kind of baking apple, into 1/4 inch bite sized pieces. Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium/medium low heat and add the apple slices and 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until they start to soften. Then add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, zest of 1/2 lemon, and another 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar. Sauté for another two minutes. Plate the oatmeal and top with the caramelized apples.