I love breakfast.
I love eggs and bacon and sausage and pancakes and biscuits and gravy and grits and hashbrowns and fruit and cereal and granola and…
I love breakfast.
I had a dream a couple of weeks ago about this recipe. Yes, I am fully aware that normal people don’t dream about food and recipes, but I have never claimed to normal. Anyway, I woke up from the dream and immediately wrote this recipe down (By “wrote this recipe down,” I mean that I typed it into the Notes section of my phone.). Anyway, I got all the stuff to make it and on Friday night, I went into the kitchen to assemble this masterpiece. I couldn’t find the bag of apples that I’d seen on the counter the day before. I looked everywhere! Finally, after listening to me bang around in the kitchen for a while, Michael yelled from the living and asked what I was looking for.
“The apples!” I called back. “I just saw them this morning!”
“Ummmm…” he said. “I threw the bag away.”
“There was a whole family of fruit flies in the bag.”
“Okay.” I dejectedly put everything back in the pantry and fridge. I was totally okay with him helping us avoid a massive fruit fly infestation. But I was SO let down that I couldn’t make the recipe I’d dreamed about.
So I waited a week. I bought the apples the day before and put the whole bag in the refrigerator.
And on Friday night, I waited until a little after ten o-clock and I put everything in the crock pot to cook overnight. I didn’t turn the crock pot on until around 11:30.
The next morning, we awoke to the GLORIOUS smell of baking apple pie. This stuff is magical. It is EXACTLY what I dreamed.
Apple Pie Slow Cooker Oatmeal
- 2 cups of steel cut oats – NO SUBSTITUTE
- 4 medium honeycrisp apples, cut into small pieces (the size of dice)
- 4 cups of apple juice
- 4 cups of milk
- 1 1/2 cups of maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- vanilla Greek yogurt
- caramel sauce
- chopped walnuts
- thinly-sliced apple
Combine everything except the yogurt, caramel, walnuts, and thinly-sliced apple in a large slow cooker. Cook on low overnight (about 8 hours).
In the morning, stir the oatmeal and spoon into bowls. Allow to cool for about five minutes.
Garnish with a few pieces of thinly-sliced apple, a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.
Well Duh #1: For the love of God, I implore you to use a slow cooker liner! Because of the amount of sweet stuff you’re cooking, this mixture will become CEMENT on the sides and bottom of your slow cooker. USE A LINER!
Well Duh #2: I found honeycrisp apple juice at Walmart and used it. I love the sweetness of honeycrisp apples and the juice is sweeter, too.
Well Duh #3: I used skim milk. You can use 2%, whole, or even almond milk.
Well Duh #4: By “caramel sauce,” I totally mean the stuff you use over ice cream.
Well Duh #5: The oatmeal will thicken as it cools. That’s a good thing. Don’t freak out if you wake up in the morning and it’s a little runny. Turn off your slow cooker and let it set for a few minutes. Or ten.
Well Duh #6: You can totally store leftovers in individual serving sizes in the refrigerator. Warm it in the microwave, but add a bit of water. I added about a quarter-cup to a half-cup of water to each 2-cup serving.
Well Duh #7: STEEL CUT OATS!! Don’t say to yourself, “I have regular oats. What’s the difference? I’m using them!” You will have an unholy mess on your hands the next morning. Steel cut oats can stand up to being cooked all night. Regular oats can’t.
Well Duh #8: If you have a programmable crock pot, use it. That way, you can sleep as long as you like and not have to get up early to turn off your oatmeal.
My tribe LOVED this oatmeal. To the extent that Michael even asked that night if he could have a serving as dessert!
Elizabeth hates oatmeal. Hates it. Used to gag as a child if I tried to make her eat it. She LOVED this oatmeal. It tastes like you’re eating an apple pie!
Elizabeth once told me about an article she’d read in which a scientist claimed that we don’t smell while we sleep. The article asserted that if you awaken to the smell of smoke, the smell didn’t wake you. Some noise of the fire awoke you.
During the night, at around 4 a.m., I was awakened by the smell of apple pie wafting down the hall from the kitchen. There had been no noise. I’m certain of it. Since I was awake, I went to the kitchen and stirred the oatmeal. I’m sure it wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to be sure it was cooking properly and not burning. It was fine, of course. I went back to bed and slept until 7:30. The oatmeal of my dreams was perfectly cooked and waiting for me!