Simple Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

So you may think I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy, and you’d be right. I’ve been walking around singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” because it is. Apples and pumpkins and soups and love!

You may remember my berry oatmeal brûlée from awhile back. I’ve gussied up my oatmeal again with a fall makeover featuring, you guessed it, pumpkin! I prepared the oatmeal using Mark Bittman’s walk away method, which requires minimal hands-on time. My favorite thing about his recipe is that it makes a lot of oatmeal, so you can store it in the fridge and reheat it throughout the week. This is a naturally gluten-free and vegan breakfast option.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Brown and white sugar for topping
Optional: raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, or pieces of apple

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Put the oats and salt in an medium sized ovenproof saucepan (I use a small dutch oven). Pour water over the top and bring to a boil. Stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other optional ingredients. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven.

2. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the saucepan or dutch oven and check on the consistency of the oats. If they’re too crunchy, return them to the oven for another 5 minutes. Otherwise, spoon them into the ramekins.

3. Top with brown sugar and then white sugar. Brown sugar burns much more quickly than white sugar, so it’s helpful to have a layer of white sugar on top. Lightly move your brûlée torch back and forth over the sugar topping until it turns into a rich brown glaze.

Tip: If you’re reheating the oatmeal, simply add a bit of milk, stir it around in the ramekin, and microwave for 45 seconds to one minute. Then add the sugar, and torch as usual.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

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Weekend Links + Looking Smart

blossoms

This week, the landscaping crew decorated the ground with bales of hay and painted pumpkins, and the temperatures didn’t get out of the 60s. We’re all in love with this weather, although some of us are more excited about the pumpkins than others.

Kona, who thinks balls are evil, sniffed suspiciously at the grinning jack-o-lanterns, barking and pushing them with her paws, then running away whenever they teetered back upright. Little does she know that they’re both trick and treat, since she’s always happy to slurp up a spoonful of pumpkin puree! Ah, the puppy version of a pumpkin latte.

James and I are both under the weather, so we’re looking forward to a weekend of soup and sleep. But before this bug hit, I found five fascinating things to share with you:

 

The Skimm is the news version of gummy vitamins. Just what you need to avoid having blank-face at the water cooler.

If you, like me, never remember to take the butter out the night before.

All your girlfriends will kill for these, and at 30-cents a pop they’re the perfect secretly-inexpensive, highly-impressive gift.

Pumpkin Pasta with roasted vegetables. It’s vegan & gluten-free. If I didn’t tell you that, you’d never know.

A dream (home) comes true for a family I adore.

What are you up to this weekend?

P.S. In case you missed it, here’s Kona’s version of playing fetch.

—–

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Happy Haupia (aka Coconut Pudding)

Frock Files | Haupia Bites

One of my favorite things to eat at luaus (yes, people actually have those in Hawaii!) is haupia. The best description I can give for haupia is that it’s a lot like panna cotta, except more coconutty. It’s a cool, creamy dessert that’s perfect for summertime — especially with the 90-degree weather we’ve been having here in the Northeast.

Traditionally, haupia is made in a 8″ x 8″ square pan, but I liked the idea of making them look like mini panna cotta by using a mini muffin tin. They make for cute finger food, which you know I can’t resist. This version of haupia is also naturally vegan and includes no gluten, which makes it easy for a wide range of party people to enjoy! Oh, and I topped them with raspberries and blueberries to give them that extra bit of patriotic flair for the Fourth of July.

Frock Files | Haupia Bites

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk
7 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium-sized mixing bowl using a whisk. Add in the water and whisk until smooth.

2. Empty the can of coconut milk into a saucepan and incorporate the sugar/cornstarch/water mixture. Heat on medium until it comes to a simmer, then cook on medium-low to low (depending on your stove’s temperature) for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens to the consistency of yogurt. Stir constantly.

3. Remove from heat. Pour into an 8″ x 8″ pan or spoon into a mini muffin pan. Allow to cool on the countertop, then chill for at least 2-3 hours.

Frock Files | Haupia Bites

What are you eating to stay cool these days?

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Simple Recipe: Berry Oatmeal Brûlée

Frock Files | Oatmeal Brûlée

Each city I’ve lived in has brought a host of new foods to my world. When I lived in Portland, one of my favorite discoveries was oatmeal brûlée. My friend Kim and I love meeting for chats at Lovejoy Bakers, where I had my first oatmeal brûlée experience. Then, a couple of weeks ago, Stephanie took me to La Provence bakery where I was excited to see it on the menu again. Since I live across the country from both of those lovely establishments, I decided that it’s time to take matters into my own hands by making it myself.

Frock Files | Oatmeal Brûlée

Ingredients

The ingredients will vary a bit depending on your method of cooking the steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are the inner part of the oat kernel that have been sliced down to small bits. While these take longer to cook than regular oatmeal, the result is totally worth it. Check out the decadent version and the healthier version (vegan). You’ll need:

  • Steel Cut Oats (If you’re gluten-free, and even if you’re not, you’ll love Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten free steel cut oats.)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Berries

Other tools: Ramekins and either your oven or a brûlée torch.

Instructions:

1. Cook your steel cut oatmeal according to your preferred recipe and allow to cool to room temperature. You may also cook the oatmeal in advance and refrigerate it, then warm it just a little in the microwave (in 20 second increments).

2. Line the bottom of your ramekins with berries. I used raspberries and blueberries, but any kind of berry will do.

3. Spoon some oatmeal on top of the berries, then sprinkle with a generous layer of brown sugar.

4. If you’re using your oven, place the ramekins on a baking sheet under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes. Otherwise, get out your brûlée torch and lightly toast the brown sugar as you would a creme brûlée. I like to do two layers of brown sugar to get that extra bit of crunch.

Frock Files | Oatmeal Brûlée

Frock Files | Oatmeal Brûlée

Now I have something new to add to my brunch repertoire! Since you can prepare the oatmeal in advance, you’ll just have to assemble and brûlée before guests arrive. It’s also the perfect thing for those of us who don’t have time to prepare breakfast during the week.

Happy brûlée-ing!

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