Pumpkin Cranberry Baked Oatmeal
You guessed it. This is an autumnal riff on Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal. The cravings for pumpkin and cranberries begin with the first ruby maple leaf and don’t wane until the appearance of the first crocus.
I assemble the dry ingredients with the cranberries, cover, and then place them overnight in the fridge. I measure the wet ingredients right into the blender, give it a whirl, and refrigerate in the blender jar overnight. When morning arrives, I preheat the oven, give the wet ingredients a fresh whirl in the blender jar and pour over the dry. In the oven it goes, and I’m back upstairs to wrangle the stubborn preschooler into the shower and listen to a pubescent whine about how I’ve surely been sabotaging her by hiding her orchestra music.
I also make my life easier by pre-mixing the cinnamon, allspice and cloves in ½ cup batches. Many recipes for “pumpkin pie spice” call for ground dried ginger and ground nutmeg to be mixed in. I think its worth the effort to have the liveliness of fresh ginger and spicy notes of fresh nutmeg. However, you could add it all in if you like.
And yes, smartass, you can buy pumpkin pie spice at the store… I DO know that.
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup maple syrup
½ c pumpkin
1 t vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or 4 cloves, ground
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or microplaned
Mix the dry ingredients
1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Unless, of course, you’re prepping for the next morning.
2. Generously grease a 2-quart baking dish.
3. Mix the oatmeal, baking powder and salt. Distribute half of this mixture in the baking dish.
4. If using fresh cranberries, give them a quick whirl in the food processor. I use my Vita-mix blender, but a regular blender won’t be up to the task. You’re just trying to roughly chop them. We are definitely not trying to make cranberry paste. If you are using frozen cranberries, cover them with hot tap water for 30-seconds, drain, and then chop.
5. Layer the cranberries over the oatmeal, then cover with the remaining oatmeal.
Mix the wet ingredients
1. Combine all of the wet ingredients in the jar of a blender. Blend to combine.
Assemble and bake
1. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the dish. Gently bang the dish on the countertop to distribute the wet ingredients. If you’re using a glass dish and have stone counters, bang on a cutting board.
2. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cranberries have lost their form and small cracks begin to appear in the surface of the oatmeal.
3. Drizzle with a little bit of natural maple syrup before serving, if desired.
If your kids are offended by the tartness of the cranberries, you could add one or two tablespoons of sugar to the cranberries when you chop them.
If fresh cranberries aren’t to be had, you could use whole dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apples.