Plain and simple, I woke craving apple pie for breakfast.
Weekends are typically made for pancakes slathered with butter and maple syrup around these parts, but I had a big bowl of local apples and really wanted pie. I didn’t have any dough handy and I figured someone (likely, my mother) would take issue with pie for breakfast. And, as if I anticipated the scolding from her, out came the rolled oats and my twist on apple pie.
Pie actually makes sense. The holidays will be here in about five seconds (especially the Eat Boutique Holiday Market) and my menus always involve lots of pie. My old wooden barn table is already piled high with Thanksgiving decor harvested from my backyard: drying mint bunches; wheat and rose tinted hydrangea flowers; green and white pumpkins; and, rusty orange butternut squash gourds.
All this holiday harvesting makes me a little nostalgic, so I recreated my late abuelita’s oatmeal. She had a way of mixing rolled oats, milk, sugar and cinnamon that made me love, love, love, oatmeal at a very young age. My sister and I would beg for abuelita’s oatmeal, sometimes instead of pancakes and waffles.
The peeling and slicing of the apples is always a soothing activity for me, so I got to peeling to the hum of the pre-heating oven. It was early so the sun streamed in from the east and almost blessed the early morning process. I couldn’t resist snapping some extra photos of my burgeoning and quite messy holiday lab.
I started with the topping for the oatmeal, which was basically an apple crumble of sorts, filled with sliced local apples of all varieties (apples that sat in lemon-kissed water to keep their pure color), rolled oats, brown sugar, sliced almonds, oil (in lieu of butter) and maple syrup. It looked almost too pretty to bake.
Seriously, the topping was the kind that I shoved into my mouth pre-baking, almost a harvest style candy. But if it was good raw, it was certainly going to be better with a blast from the oven. My tall gourds kept the dish in good company while the oven finished pre-heating.
The oatmeal takes no time at all, so I waited until the apples were cooked to start the boiling water. A few quick stirs and a light simmer and breakfast was ready. My mother loved the twist on apple pie but encouraged me to never rethink the urge to make a pie from scratch; she’d always be there to eat a hefty slice, at breakfast or any other time of the day. Thanks, Mom.
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Serves: 6 people, quite generously
Ingredients for Apple Pie Topping:
- 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup of brown gar
- 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Ingredients for Abuelita’s Oatmeal:
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together all Apple Pie Topping ingredients in a bowl until it’s crumbly and well mixed.
- Pile the sliced apples neatly into a pie plate. Spoon the crumb mixture uniformly on top of the apples.
- Bake in for about 25-30 minutes until bubbling and until the apples are super soft. Once done, set aside to cool slightly.
- Bring the water to boil and add in the salt and oats. Return to boil and then lower to simmer for about 10 minutes, just until you lose the chewiness of the oat. Add in the cinnamon, brown sugar and almond milk, and then let simmer 3-5 more minutes to blend.
- Put a hefty scoop of oatmeal in a bowl and spoon some apple pie topping on top. Serve and enjoy.
Photos styled and taken by Maggie Battista.
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