Dessert-for-breakfast baked oatmeal that’s gluten free and made with cherries, bourbon, vanilla and nuts.
Washington, D.C. is many things. The subject of much anger and frustration. The American capital. A city with a bunch of traffic circles.
It’s also, controversially, not a state. If you’ve been to D.C., you probably noticed that a ton of license plates are printed with the phrase ‘taxation without representation’ – a reference to the fact that D.C. residents pay federal taxes but the District doesn’t receive a vote in Congress.
While I think it makes complete sense that the District of Columbia should become a state, you have to admit, fifty states is such a nice, round number.
Clearly there’s only one solution: one state needs to be booted out of the Union. Or, less drastically, two states should merge.
You know what, something tells me neither of those ideas would gain much support…
As the District of Columbia is holding its Republican convention today (the Democratic one is in June), I wanted to share a recipe that somehow related to Washington. The only problem is that, despite having been to the city, I couldn’t think of anything that screamed ‘Washington, D.C.!’
To be completely honest, the only things I could come up with were half-smokes (a type of hot dog) and the Gin Rickey (a cocktail) – neither of which I felt like making.
Rather than end my election-themed recipes, I decided to make an oatmeal inspired by Washington’s namesake, George Washington.
George Washington is often associated with cherries, mostly because of the famous (and now debunked) cherry tree story. Even if that story wasn’t true, apparently America’s first president was a fan of cherries and cherry pie.
Despite his concerns about alcohol consumption, George Washington operated a whiskey distillery on his estate during his post-presidential life. In fact, at the time of Washington’s death in 1799, the whiskey distillery was the largest one in America.
Washington’s other connection to whiskey is, if you remember your history, the fact that he quashed the Whiskey Rebellion during his presidency.
So, what do you get when you try to turn cherries and whiskey into a breakfast dish? Cherry Bourbon Baked Oatmeal, of course!
This oatmeal is more like a breakfast cobbler than a traditional bowl of oats. There’s a fruity base of cherries and bourbon, which is topped with (a very addictive) baked oatmeal. As you’ll see in the recipe below, you can use frozen cherries, so it doesn’t even need to be cherry season to enjoy this breakfast.
Since this is technically a breakfast dish, I went easy on the bourbon. There are only two tablespoons of the stuff in the whole pan of oatmeal. That being said, you could just leave it out if you don’t have any bourbon hanging around. Or replace the bourbon with orange juice to add a little more fruity flavor.
Also, I can assure you – from experience – that this oatmeal easily doubles-up as a dessert. And pairs well with ice cream. Just saying.
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) bourbon
- 1 tablespoon (15g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 pounds (910g) fresh or frozen pitted cherries
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (120g) Greek-style yogurt
- ¼ cup (60mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups (200g) rolled oats
- ⅓ cup (35g) sliced almonds
- ¼ cup (30g) slivered almonds
- ¼ cup (20g) shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (180mL) milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23cm) square baking dish.
- For the filling: In a saucepan off the heat, whisk together the cornstarch and bourbon. Add the brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla bean paste and cherries.
- Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the cherries has released their juices and the liquid has reduced. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- For the oatmeal: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Add the yogurt, maple syrup, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and vanilla bean paste, and whisk until smooth.
- Mix in the rolled oats, sliced almonds, slivered almonds, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the milk, and mix until well combined.
- Pour the oatmeal batter over the cherry filling, and smooth out the batter with a spoon (or spatula).
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the oatmeal is golden brown and reasonably firm when touched.
- Let the oatmeal cool in the dish for 5 minutes before serving, if possible. Enjoy the oatmeal by itself, or with steamed milk and fruit (or even ice cream).
If, after 15 minutes, the cherry filling is still far too liquidy when you’re cooking it on the stove, carefully spoon the cherries into the prepared baking dish. Then turn up the heat slightly and the let the liquid bubble and reduce on the stove for a few more minutes. Then pour the liquid on top of the cherries in the baking dish.
When done, the oatmeal should ‘spring back’ when touched – if your finger leaves an indent, it’s not done yet.
Make sure you use certified gluten-free oats if you'd like this recipe to be gluten-free.