I eat apricots a lot. Apricots are a funny fruit, though, because I don’t tend to eat them raw. In the summer, I have a habit of buying fresh apricots, but eating them fresh tends to be lackluster.
Instead, I find dried apricots more flavourful and have incorporated them into many salads, granola and energy bars. I have even added them to savoury dishes. When I do find myself with fresh apricots, baking is the best way to fully bring out its sweetness (remember those Moroccan Apricot Parcels? yum!)
As you know, I have a habit of trying out interesting, healthy breakfast ideas. I spotted an oatmeal breakfast clafoutis at Chocolate & Zucchini, and knew that I wanted to try it. The fruit, nuts and other add-ins are completely up to you, but incorporating freshly baked apricots is a royal treat.
But what the heck is an oatmeal breakfast clafoutis? To me, a clafoutis has always meant a custard-like cake speckled with fruit. Here, it means a creamy baked oatmeal filled with fruit.
I have made baked oatmeal before (with rhubarb and apple/banana) but this one was definitely the creamiest of them all. But the great thing is that they kept their shape well, so for anyone who likes to munch on the go, this is perfect for you. According to Clotilde they freeze easily, so you could stack your freezer with individual portions, reheat them and grab them to run.
This is my submission to this month’s Breakfast Club featuring Breakfasts To Go!
Apricot Oatmeal Breakfast Clafoutis
2-1/4 cup quick cooking oats, uncooked, or 2-3/4 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
3-4 apricots, sliced
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (or your favourite nut)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (next time, I may try pairing the apricots with ginger)
1/2 tsp salt
3-1/3 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (360F). Lightly oil an 9×13-inch baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add this to the dry ingredients, and mix until well blended.
3. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, and use a wooden spoon to make sure the solids are more or less evenly spread out. Arrange the apricot slices over the surface. They will sink somewhat but that’s okay, they’ll float right back up when the oatmeal cooks.
4. Put in the oven to bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the center is set and firm to the touch. Let cool slightly : it should be eaten a bit warm but not scalding hot.
5. Cut in 8 servings, and serve warm. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered, or wrap each serving individually and put in the freezer. You can then take a serving out the night before and leave it to thaw until the morning, when a 20-second stay in the microwave will bring it to the perfect temperature.