On Saturday mornings we have this unspoken rule that breakfast must come out of the oven, the waffle iron, or the cast iron griddle. Though sometimes it comes out of the car. Kev and Hal pick up donuts for themselves and a croissant for me. Special is the name of our weekend breakfast game.
But if donuts come out of the car on Saturday, something with oats usually comes out of the oven on Sunday. And for whatever reason, Tart Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal has come out of the oven the last couple January’s.
Tart cherries are harvested in summer, but due to their delicate composition, they’re typically dried or frozen within hours from picking. So why we cling to that bag of frozen cherries in the winter, I’m not sure. But that’s when I make Cherry Pie too. Always with almond extract.
Baked oatmeal, when left alone, is a monotonous slab of beige. To dress her up for the weekend, we add tart ruby red cherries on top just before heading into the oven. With about 5 minutes left of cooking, we add sliced almonds for a short toast. Then once she comes out of the oven, we generously garnish her with natures sprinkles—unsweetened coconut, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs. Not many breakfasts escape a dollop of plain whole milk yogurt around here. Neither does this one.
Beware, tiny people like Hal are known to go cherry picking straight out of the baking dish. I hope you’re ok with that. Here’s to keeping that unspoken weekend rule with a bunch of other warm breakfast ideas.
Almonds and tart cherries make the best marriage. This is our favorite winter baked oatmeal. Tart cherries are harvested in the summer, but due to their delicate nature, they are immediately dried or frozen to preserve their greatness. You can eat them all year long, but we tend to grab for them in the depth of winter. This recipe uses this baked oatmeal base.
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. flaky kosher salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 c. frozen tart cherries
1/4 c. sliced almonds for topping
Preheat oven to 375°. In a saucepan, melt butter until a thump tip sized hunk remains. Remove from heat and swirl to melt remaining butter. This will method will help to cool the mixture faster. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Into the cooled butter, whisk together milk, applesauce, egg, and extract.
Add milk mixture to oat mixture and stir well. Place frozen cherries evenly around the dish.
Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish (or similar size) and bake for 20-22 min. In the last 5 minutes of baking, top with sliced almonds to toast.
Serve warm. Garnish with plain yogurt, unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, and hemp seeds (natures sprinkles).