One of the readers of my Facebook page, Marlene, asked if I could work out a recipe for her. She’d love an egg custard/oatmeal recipe she could make on a Sunday and eat every morning during the week. After a little back and forth on what texture and sweetness level she wanted I came up with this fabulous recipe. It is very much like a rice pudding with way less sugar, more eggs and milk and baked so the oats sink to the bottom and you get that yummy, custardy topping. It is gluten free and you could make with a milk substitute too if you need diary free. There is only 1 tsp added sugar per serving. You can make the whole thing, from toasting the oats to baking in the oven in 1 pan and it IS delicious.
1/2 C quick cooking steel cut oats
1/2 C water
1/2 C milk, plus another 1 3/4 C
1/3 C raisins, dry cherries or other dried fruit, opt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus another 1/4 tsp for the top
4 large eggs
2 T sugar (white, brown, whatever)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Dry toast the oatmeal in a heavy bottomed, oven safe pan. When it starts to smell nutty and may even pop, carefully add the 1/2 C water (since the pan at this point is really hot, the water may boil up) and the 1/2 C milk.
Cook covered over low – medium heat until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. Don’t be afraid to check it before. Remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and spices. Cover and set aside.
Place the container you will be using as a bain marie in the oven. Put a pot holder or folded up cloth on the bottom. Fill the pan about 1/3 full with hot water. Carefully roll the rack back and close the oven door. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Beat 4 eggs with the sugar until well combined and maybe even a little foamy. Add a pinch of salt, the 1 3/4 C milk, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix well to combine.
Slowly combine with the oatmeal mixture, like add a quarter cup, stir, add another 1/4 cup and stir so it is not lumpy. Add the remaining egg mixture, stir to combine. Return to the heat and just cook, stirring until very warm. This cuts down the baking time. More is not better here. We want it to set in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining nutmeg on top.
Sprinkle the remaining nutmeg on top. Cover, place in your bain marie which will be very hot now. Carefully pull or push the rack back because the water will spill. Bake about 25 minutes or until the sides are set but the middle is still wiggly.
Remove the custard from the bain marie and oven and let cool. The custard will continue to cook from the residual heat in the pan and firm up completely.
I let the bain marie cool in the oven so I don’t have to worry about spilling hot water on me. After all, I can be a klutz.
Note: You can cook these in individual custard cups too, but they will cook faster. Start checking them at 10 minutes.
You can serve this for dessert too. I have this urge to sprinkle some sugar (1 – 1 1/2 tsp per serving) on top and caramelize it under the broiler or with the blow torch I got for a Mother’s Day gift. Voila! An Oatmeal Creme Brulee. Make sure whatever you cooked it in can withstand the heat without breaking. I will demonstrate in a future post and will link to it here.