Feb 21, 2013

Baked Apple Oatmeal Pie

The military seems to be their most savvy in sending their airmen away from family around any sort of holiday (Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day..).  Maybe it's a power trip for the uppity-ups.  I think they pride themselves on the ability to mess with people, just because they can.

All that to say, my husband was out of town on TDY (temporary deployment, for my non-military followers) for Valentine's Day.  However, I have a really sweet man....I mean, I could go on and on and on about all the things I love about him.  I won't, because I don't want to sicken you with all the lovey mush but actually have you stay to continue reading.  But I can't possibly go without saying one - even though he was away, he had flowers sent to me!  And not just our house so that I could enjoy them, but to my office so all my co-workers could see how much I'm loved.  Love him!  Aren't they gorgeous!?!?
He got back in town really late on Friday night, so we decided to celebrate over the weekend instead.  After letting him sleep in on Saturday, I woke him up with breakfast in bed!  :)

I purchased fabulous serving trays (similar to the one below) on Amazon for a steal.  And even better, I used a bunch of my SwagBucks to help pay for them. :)

The only bad part about breakfast in bed is having to get out of bed early to make the breakfast.  I'm sorry.  I am NOT a morning person.  I can stay up way late before I pass out, but morning is not my friend. There was no way I was going to wake up super early to slave all morning in the kitchen.  No sir.  So, in order to allow for maximum sleep but still provide a fabulous breakfast (cereal was not an option, folks), I decided to make it the night before and just warm it up in the morning.  *Perfect!*

Baked Apple Oatmeal Pie
Oatmeal Pie
2 medium apples, chopped into small cubes
2 cups Quaker® Old Fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups fat free milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar free maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Candied Pecan Topping
1 cup chopped pecans
1 large egg white
1/4 cup brown sugar
dash of vanilla extract

First I made the candied pecans, as they bake at a lower temperature.
1.  Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, and spray the paper with cooking spray.
2.  Beat the egg white until almost stiff.  Add brown sugar and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.
3.  Mix in the pecans and stir until completely coated.
4.  Pour the nut mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet, and bake approximately 10-15 minutes (until browned).
5.  Set aside to cool.

 Now for the main dish....
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9.5" pie dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, mix:  apples, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Stir to combine.
3.  In a medium bowl, combine: milk, eggs, syrup, applesauce, and vanilla extract.  Wisk until well combined.
4.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring well.
5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish and bake on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes.
6.  Cover with foil, to keep the top from getting too dark.  Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
7.  Cool on a baking rack.
8.  Cut the pie into 6 wedges.
9.  Serve with a sprinkling of the candied pecans.
*If preparing in advance, like I did, cover overnight.

In my opinion, it never hurts to add some fun details to surprises, like a menu (don't forget to dot your "i"s with little hearts!) 
To make it extra special, I themed the entire tray with pink and little hearts. :)
Even though I made this meal very Valentine's Day oriented, this dish would work for any day of the year...holiday or not!  It's very hearty, sticks with you throughout the morning, and tastes great!  I love the candied pecan topping!

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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