Creamy Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding with Apple

Creamy baked oatmeal breakfast pudding

We are a porridge family. We buy our rolled oats in 8 kg bags and most weekday mornings I or my husband set a pot of oats on the stove to cook before the kids get out of bed. Oatmeal is one of the few things that fills me up in the morning, and keeps my stomach from growling before 10:00 a.m.

It’s handy being a lover of oatmeal since it’s so darn healthy. There is a list as long as my arm of the health and nutrition benefits of oats. I consider it a bonus that oats and molasses make such a lovely pair.

Creamy baked oatmeal breakfast pudding

My husband is the real porridge expert in our house. His is always much creamier than mine.

If you’re a fan of extra creamy porridge then I think you’ll enjoy this baked oatmeal breakfast pudding. Smoother than the rice custard of my childhood, when eaten warm right out of the oven it’s a comfort on chilly days.

Creamy baked oatmeal breakfast pudding

The recipe takes just a minute of prep before bed and then mixes up quickly in the morning. It also reheats well if you have leftovers or decide to bake it ahead of time.

The recipe is adapted from Simple Bites, and according to Aimee (at Simple Bites), soaking oats makes them more digestible and helps your system absorb more of the nutrients in the oatmeal.

Oatmeal breakfast pudding with apple

Slightly adapted from Simple Bites

Serves 6

  • 2 cups rolled oats (preferably old fashioned)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (nut, seed or cow’s)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted (can use oil)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 apple, grated
  1. In a large bowl combine rolled oats, buttermilk, salt and 1-1/2 cups of water. Stir then cover with a dish towel and let sit overnight.
  2. The next morning pour oat mixture into a colander and drain for a few minutes to remove excess moisture.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9”x9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs then add the milk, vanilla, molasses and melted butter. Mix well then sift in the baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Add soaked oats to the egg mixture.
  6. Core the apple and  grate it on the large side of a box grater. Add to the oat mixture and combine well.
  7. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Place additional apple slices on top and bake for 40 -45 minutes or until light golden on top.
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot with milk and drizzled with maple syrup or molasses.

 A great variation from Lorraine, a reader:

“I didn’t soak the rolled oats overnight, so I increased the total milk to 2 cups. And I don’t like grating, so I lined the bottom of the pan with 2 sliced apples. My daughter loves blueberries, so I also added about a cup of frozen blueberries to the top and finished it off with about 1/3 cup sliced almonds.” Yum! I think Lorraine’s version is my new favourite.

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly email too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

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Whole wheat apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

I always loved the smell of our house in the fall. We’d arrive home from school to the warm spicy smell of homemade pickles cooking on the stove and fresh muffins cooling on the counter.

My mom baked a lot with apples and I grew up eating apple pie with Sunday supper, apple dumplings, apple sauce and lots of apple crisp.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

When I was little we had the greatest crab apple tree in our back yard. It was always laden with apples and each year mom would make spiced crab apples and crab apple jelly.

On apple picking day we’d climb the tree and give it a good shake while my brother Michael, wearing an old Harbour Bridge Authority hard hat of my great uncle’s, would dash under the tree and gather the apples in a bucket.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

One day the tree just fell over.

We watched it fall, as though it was laying down for a nap.

It turned out the roots had rotted, leaving a hollow spot in the ground like a little nest in the roots. There in that little hole were a bunch of oyster shells. We later found out that the previous owners of our house used to bury them around the tree as fertilizer.

If you love baking with apples give these apple cinnamon muffins with molasses a try. They’re light and moist and not too sweet.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

Adapted from Table For Two

Makes 12 regular sized muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canola, grape seed or olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and grease muffin pan (or line with muffin cups).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir gently until almost combined.
  5. Add the chopped apples and gently fold them into the batter.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes.

*To sour milk, add ½ Tbsp. of vinegar to your measuring cup and fill to the ½ cup mark with milk. Let sit 5 minutes.

We have loads more apple recipes in our e-book: Cooking with apples

Cooking with apples - nine recipes for sweet and savoury dishes made with apples

Easy Apple Spice Cake makes a wholesome snack

Easy apple spice cake is a moist and wholesome

I think that cakes often get a bad rap.

They have this reputation for being a little time consuming to make and suitable for Sunday dinners and special occasions only.

But some of the best cakes out there are muffin-simple. Made with real butter and good stone-ground flour, they’ve got flavour to spare and have no need to be dressed with frosting.

Plus, there is only one easy pan to clean, not a dozen muffin cups.

Easy Apple spice cake is a moist and wholesome

Here’s a delicious cake that’s a synch to mix up and makes a wholesome treat. No occasion required.

I make this apple spice cake with stone ground flour and homemade apple sauce but it works just as well with conventional white flour and store-bought apple sauce.

It’s actually a gingerbread, sweetened with molasses and lightly spiced with ginger and cinnamon. As gingerbreads go this one is on the gentle side, denser than hot water gingerbreads but mild in flavour. If you use stone ground flour it’s sweet, nutty flavour will shine through.

Easy Apple spice cake is a moist and wholesome

Serve this apple spice cake as a snack cake, tuck it in your kids’ lunchbox or sprinkle it with icing sugar and serve it as a dessert.

It’s that kind of cake – forever adaptable to the occasion.

Easy Apple Spice Cake

  • 2/3 cup sugar (can be reduce to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (make your own from local apples)
  • 1/3 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups flour (stone ground spelt or whole white, if you have it)
  1. In one bowl place sifted dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl beat applesauce, molasses, eggs, and soft butter.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Beat well by hand or with an electric beater for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour into greased and floured 9″ round or square cake pan and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan to finish cooking.
  7. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into wedges.

Tip: line the pan with parchment paper for extra easy removal from pan.

If you love snack cakes you might like our whole wheat apple sauce cake recipe

Whole wheat apple sauce cake is wholesome and delicious

 

 

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Chicken with molasses-cider pan sauce and sautéed apples

This is so good you’ll want to lick your plate…

Do you ever find yourself mid-week craving a really good meal but feeling crammed for time? Do you sometimes wish you could change up your plain old chicken once in a while? (Do you wish your kids could walk to soccer practice?)

This is your spectacular Tuesday night meal that’s ready in a flash. It won’t slow down your life but it will allow you the pleasure of a fine meal once all of the rushing is done (or before the rush begins, depending on the evening’s activities).

Simply warm left-over cooked chicken or turkey, grab a grocery store roasted chicken, or bake chicken pieces while you’re preparing this sauce; whatever suits your schedule.

Chicken with molasses-cider pan sauce and sautéed apples

Serves 4

  • Cooked chicken pieces for four
  • ½ cup cider
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (could use sage instead)
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8-10 wedges each

Instructions:

  1. In a good-sized sauté pan over medium heat, whisk together cider and molasses.
  2. Whisk in the vinegar and mustard.
  3. Add the thyme (or sage).
  4. Add the sliced apples in a single layer and let cook as the syrup thickens.
  5. Flip the apples and continue cooking until they’re tender.
  6. When the apples are ready, plate the chicken and spoon over the sauce and apples.

Serve with a hearty green salad (kale salad is my fall favourite) and rice. To dress it up a bit more serve it with apple cranberry sauce.
Speedy tip: Freeze cider in ice cube trays so you have it on hand all fall. Use 3-4 ice cubes in this recipe.

Prefer to serve this with pork? Here’s my original recipe made with pork chops.

This is such an adaptable sauce. Any suggestions for other ways to serve it?

Apple crisp with cranberries – a Thanksgiving dessert

Apple crisp recipe with cranberries gets an extra boost of flavour from a touch of molasses.

Apple crisp was a favourite dessert when I was growing up. I loved the soft tart apples but the best part was really the crunchy topping. Mom made her apple crisp with rolled oats, butter and brown sugar which to me tasted just like candy.

My mom never wrote her recipe down. Instead she just eyed it, especially when it came to sweetening the fruit. That’s the thing – the amount of sugar added to the fruit depends on how tart your apples are. I prefer firm, tart cortlands but for this recipe you can use your favourite or whatever you have on hand. The amount of molasses that I have included with the filling works for a tart apple. But if you have a really sweet tooth more is good too (up to 2/3 of a cup).

Adding molasses to the fruit makes the caramel-like sauce that forms during cooking extra rich. You could serve this with ice cream, but it doesn’t need it. (My son prefers apple crisp straight up for breakfast.)

Apple cranberry crisp

Filling:

  • 5-6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter for dabbing

Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened

Instructions:

For the filling:

  1. Place the apples and cranberries in a medium casserole dish.
  2. Pour over the molasses, sprinkle with cinnamon and dab with the butter.

 

For the topping:

  1. Combine the flour, rolled oats and brown sugar.
  2. Add butter and mix together into a crumble.
  3. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples.
  4. Bake at 375 F for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Serve hot or warm.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email.



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Pork chops with sauteed apples and molasses cider glaze

Pork chops with sauteed apples and molasses cider glaze

We’re thick into apple season and every weekend I have a new bushel on my counter to use up. I love them for snacking, apple sauce and baking but once and a while I remember that apples are lovely in main dish meals too.

This recipe is loosely based on a recipe I came across up at our camp last weekend. I had bought a couple of pork chops at our local farmers market and was quizzing Farmer Bunnett on the best ways to cook them. “I’m a farmer not a chef!” is what he finally told me. Fair enough. So I went back to the camp and fiddled with this recipe (using the apples and cider that we also bought at the market.)

Pork chops with sauteed apples and molasses cider glaze

  • 4 pork chops (or pork tenderloin slices)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (can use half butter)
  • ½ cup cider
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8-10 wedges each

Pat chops dry, season with salt and pepper.

In a good-sized sauté pan over medium, heat oil until it shimmers then add the pork chops.

Cook 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through. (Take care not to overcook.)

Remove chops to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add cider and molasses to the same pan, whisking to incorporate the pan juices and scrape up all of the tasty bits.

Whisk in the vinegar and mustard. Add the thyme.

Add the sliced apples in a single layer and let cook as the syrup thickens.

Flip the apples and continue cooking until they’re tender.

When the apples are ready plate the pork chops and spoon over the sauce and apples.

Pork chops with sauteed apples and molasses cider glaze

On a recent farm visit my kids were fascinated with the pigs. They’re social and curious – kind of like my kids.

 

Apple cake with molasses cider glaze

This time of year I’m always on the lookout for apple recipes. With local apples in markets everywhere it’s hard to resist buying them by the bushel.

The other night I combed through my mom’s big recipe binder and I came across this recipe.  It’s a tender, coffee-style cake but the addition of the glaze makes it something different altogether. I recommend doubling the glaze so you have lots of extra to drizzle over top when you’re serving the cake. Placing each piece in a pool of the sauce would be lovely too.

Apple cake with molasses cider glaze

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups peeled apples cut into 1” dice
  • ½ cup walnut pieces

Glaze:

  • 2 Tbsp Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tbsp cider
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions:

For cake:

  1. In one bowl, sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
  2. In another bowl whisk oil and sugar. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Whisk in applesauce and vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture, stirring just until combined. (One tip: take care not to overwork the batter.)
  5. Stir in apples and walnuts.
  6. Scrape into a greased 8” baking pan. (Lining the bottom with parchment paper will make for extra easy removal.)
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes at 325 F.

For glaze:

  1. Bring ingredient to a gentle boil, and stir for one minute.
  2. While cake is still warm remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer. Brush glaze over warm cake.

Serve warm drizzled with any leftover glaze.