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Brûléed Oatmeal with Baked Apples

Brown sugar glazes the top of this oatmeal, which is served with slices of warm baked apples. Be sure to sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the oatmeal so that it will melt into a uniform topping. And don’t leave it under the broiler too long. It is ready when it bubbles and turns golden brown.

Ingredients:

For the baked apples: 

  • 2 apples, such as Granny Smith or Baldwin, peeled, cored and cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick 
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted 
  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar 
  •   
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 2 cups rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 

Directions:

To make the baked apples, preheat an oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, melted butter and brown sugar and stir to evenly coat the apples. Spread the apples on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the liquid is bubbling and the apples are tender and glazed with the brown sugar mixture, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm. Preheat the broiler.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk and salt to a gentle boil, about 3 minutes. Stir in the oats. Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered at a gentle boil, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is soft and the milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oatmeal boiling gently. Remove from the heat.

Divide the hot oatmeal among 4 shallow baking dishes about 6 inches in diameter, spreading it evenly in the dishes. Evenly sprinkle 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar over each serving. Using a spoon or your fingers, gently press the brown sugar into a uniform layer.

Arrange the baking dishes on a baking sheet and place in the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source. Broil until the topping melts and bubbles vigorously, about 3 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking to ensure uniform browning; watch carefully to prevent the topping from burning. Place each baking dish on a serving plate. Top with the warm apple slices and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).