simple creme brulee oatmeal

Creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts and a staple for fall/winter dinner parties. I absolutely love everything about it—the rich creamy texture but perhaps, best of all, the cracking of the bruleed crust…

Last fall we took our affection for creme brulee to breakfast! This was actually inspired by a bruleed oatmeal we had at a local place in Norman (Turquoise). Since they no longer exist, we set out on a quest to create our own!

...and, it's totally a brunch favorite of ours, too!

We had steel-cut oats for the first time last fall and have fallen in love with them ever since. They’ve got fantastic flavor and texture, we don’t think we could ever go back to quick oats–AND they can be prepared in advance, see here!

Materials:
Steel-cut oats (1.5 cups), milk* (2/3 cups), half a tablespoon of butter, turbinado sugar, a dash of vanilla (Madagascan bourbon vanilla), fresh fruit and nuts (bananas and walnuts, craisns and almonds, strawberries, blueberries)
* use heavy cream,  if you wish!

1. Toast oats:

  • stove top method–melt butter in pan, toast oats by stirring frequently, about 5-minutes
  • oven method–toast for 20 minutes in cast-iron skillet for 20 minutes

2.  Pour in 6 cups of water. Bring water to a boil and allow oats to simmer for about 20 minutes or so (until oats are to desired tenderness)–stirring occasionally, don’t worry about oats sticking to the pan.

3. Add in 2/3 cups of milk (vary depending on desired creaminess), stir, let sit for a couple of minutes–viola! you have great oatmeal!
(Optional: add in a teaspoon of vanilla)

For the bruleed part:
4. Divide oatmeal into ramekins/bowls. Cover the surface of the oatmeal with turbinado sugar:

simply cover the surface with sugar evenly!

5. Brulee the sugar via kitchen torch or using broiler in oven:

we got this torch as a wedding present a few years back--we totally use it all the time. It's such a handy kitchen gadget --thanks Kenah!

And there you have it, sweetly simple bruleed oatmeal! You could get pretty fancy and come up with a sauce for it, but we used pure maple syrup (Daniel’s doing).

This is definitely a brunch staple! We enjoyed our creme brulee oatmeal while Emmy enjoyed her cheerios!

The great thing about bruleed oatmeal is you can serve in varying portion sizes and not feel as guilty, horray for whole grains!

...maple syrup drizzled atop the bruleed crust--- guess who this one belonged to?

Sound too time consuming for the work week? Fear not.
Here is a great ‘overnight’ recipe from The Bitten Word. We double the recipe and have steel-cut oat varieties for breakfast during the rest of the week. Just warm up oats with a little milk in microwave. Then, cover the surface with turbinado sugar, torch, add some fruit–and viola! You have bruleed oatmeal to-go!

No steel-cut oats? No problem. Check out this blog post.

I’m always on the lookout for creative ideas, so show me what other variations you try!

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