Don't we all crave a filling, warm breakfast on a brisk morning? I know I do. A bowl of plain oatmeal doesn't always quite satisfy — for the mornings when you need something heartier, you have to try baked oatmeal. Halfway between a cakey treat and a filling porridge, it's perfect.
By far, I prefer this recipe for baked oatmeal over a bowl of regular oatmeal. Normally, I can only stand oatmeal if it's loaded with lots of maple syrup, but this baked version is delicious without all the sugar. It's just barely sweetened and a few dates strewn throughout add pops of chewy caramel flavor without overwhelming sweetness.
I used the sliced figs to make a fancy topping because they're just so pretty. They also add a hit of fruit flavor — I find that the flavor of extra ingredients can get lost when mixed in with the oats, so placing the figs on top is the perfect solution.
The streusel topping is what I think elevates the whole dish, adding a crisp texture. It makes breakfast feel special and cozy, and that's all I really need on a Monday.
Baked Fig and Date Oatmeal with Pecan Streusel
3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 fresh figs, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the chopped pecans, 1 tablepoon of the raw sugar and the arrowroot in a small bowl. Place the butter in a deep 8-inch pie dish and put it into the oven for 5 minutes, just until the butter has melted. Swirl the melted butter around the pan to grease it, then scoop out 2 teaspoons of the butter and add to the pecan mixture. Stir the pecan mixture together and then set aside.
In a large bowl combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, chopped dates and remaining 1/4 cup of raw sugar. Add the egg, milk and remaining melted butter to the bowl then stir together well. Pour the mixture into the buttered pie dish and decorate with the sliced figs. Sprinkle the pecan streusel mixture over top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until browned around the edges and set. Cut into wedges and serve warm or room temperature with yogurt and fresh fruit.