The spices in this baked oatmeal really stand out in the dish but not in an over powering way which is lovely.
I made this breakfast dish on a weekend morning but it could be made ahead and taken on the go, eaten cold or reheated! Very versatile and makes for an excellent week day breakfast.
I topped mine with a dollop of Greek yogurt but it's not needed at all.
Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 large or 4 small apples, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
8 tablespoons coconut palm sugar divided
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup steel-cut oats
4 cups hot water
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF; lightly grease a 2- to 3-quart casserole dish.
Mix cinnamon and ginger together and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the chopped apples, 1/2 teaspoon of the spice blend , 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar , and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the apples have softened and begun to caramelize. Add the cranberries off the heat, stirring to coat with the spice-butter mixture (this will also help thaw frozen cranberries, if using them).
Meanwhile, add the steel-cut oats, water, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter to a large bowl, cover, and allow to stand for 20 minutes, or until the oats have softened slightly.
Add the old-fashioned oats, salt, remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons of the spice blend, remaining 6 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, nutmeg, and about half of the chopped nuts to the steel-cut oats, mix well to incorporate.
Whisk together the milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla, and then fold it into the oat mixture.
Add about 3/4 of the fruit to the casserole dish; spread it out into an even layer and top with the oat mixture. Top with the remaining fruit and the second half of the nuts, and bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until set in the center.
Allow to cool slightly and serve with a drizzle of milk or a dollop of plain yogurt, if desired.
Note: if you don't have steel cut oats you can use all old fashioned whole oats 4 cups. You can just skip the soaking step.
Recipe modified from King Arthur Flour whole Grain Baking