This is an in-betweener of a recipe: not quite standard oatmeal, not quite breakfast pudding, not quite oat-y breakfast bars—it’s an amalgamation of all three, actually. The idea behind this recipe originated with the venerable Heidi Swanson (she of the beautiful 101 Cookbooks blog), who bakes her oats with milk, egg, spices, and luscious berries in a buttered dish. The concept is a great one that’s being riffed here, making a thinner sheet pan version, roasted pear-and-almond–forward, deep with autumn spice and subtle sweetness. The oats and fruit are wonderful served warm, when everything is soft and yielding, but it’s also great served cold, when it’s sturdy enough to slice into neat squares and grab on the go. Either way you serve it, feel free to play around with your favorite fruits, nuts, spices, and sweeteners to customize this creative breakfast offering to your liking.
Serves 9 generously, or 18 as part of a spread.
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups unsweetened almond milk or other milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (plus optional extra, for serving)
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 pears (I like Bartlett), unpeeled, cut lengthwise through the fruit into 1/4-inch-thick slices, any bits of stem and core removed
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
WHAT TO DO:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position. Mist a sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Stir together the oats, 1 cup of the almonds, the baking powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, the ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup, eggs, half of the melted butter, and the almond extract until smooth. Pour this into the oats and stir until thoroughly combined.
4. Dump the oatmeal mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the corners with a rubber spatula. Arrange the pear slices evenly over the oatmeal. Sprinkle the pears with the brown sugar, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and the remaining 1/2 cup almonds. Drizzle the rest of the melted butter evenly atop it all.
5. Bake until the pears are tender and the oatmeal has set and started to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Serve the oatmeal warm, with extra drizzles of maple syrup if you like. (You can also chill it in the pan, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, overnight or for up to 3 days. Slice it into neat squares; serve the squares toasted or at room temperature.)
More about Sheet Pan Suppers:
The virtue of cooking on a sheet pan is two-fold. First there’s the convenience of cooking everything together and having just one pan to clean up. Then there’s the cooking method—roasting, baking, or broiling—three techniques that intensify flavors; in other words, food tastes better when cooked on a sheet pan (move over, slow cooker). But the real genius here is Molly Gilbert’s fresh, sophisticated approach. There are easy dinners for weeknight meals—Chicken Legs with Fennel and Orange; Soy-Mustard Salmon and Broccoli; Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Squash, Apples, and Onions. Special occasion meals—Rack of Lamb with Herby Bread Crumbs and Buttered Carrots; Asparagus and Black Cod in Parchment. Meatless meals—Israeli Couscous-Stuffed Peppers. Plus surprise extras, including in-a-snap party snacks—Baked Brie and Strawberries, Corn and Crab Cakes with Yogurt Aioli; quick brunch dishes like Greens and Eggs and Ham, and Baked Apricot French Toast; and, of course, dessert—Stone Fruit Slab Pie, Halloween Candy S’mores.
Maximum ease, minimal cleanup, and mouthwatering recipes. In other words, a revelation that will change the way we cook.