It is no surprise that I like apples.
I mean, I suppose this could be new information for you, if you’ve been living in some kind of subterranean grotto. So, if you have just emerged from your lightless earth womb, let it be said again: I am a big damn fan of apples. Not the phone and tablet products — the actual fruit.
So, I sometimes make oatmeal, and when I make oatmeal, I sometimes infuse that oatmeal with as much APPLETASTICNESS as I can goddamn jolly well muster, and so here is that recipe. Let’s also put this up front that this is not what we could call a perfectly healthy oatmeal — no, it’s not as bad as just snorfling down a rum-soaked Snickers bar for breakfast, but it’s also not what anyone could call “health food.” Or “clean food,” which is I guess the latest nomenclature for healthy? Suggesting that some food is somehow dirty? God, that’s stupid.
MAKE THIS AND PRESS IT INTO YOUR MOUTH PIT
First, I use Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal, which makes a porridgey oatmeal. But you can use whatever kind you like. I’m no OAT SNOB. I won’t judge you. Not for that. I’ll judge you for a lot of other reasons, probably? Like those shoes. They’re hideous. Are they made of squirrel pelts? Sure, they’re warm, but ugggh. Do you hear the screaming of the squirrels, Clarice? Whatever. Also if you have a MAGA hat on, I’m just gonna kick you into a pit.
So, admittedly, I can get a little judgey.
(Note: that photo is not Scottish oatmeal.)
The trick is, when you cook the oatmeal using its OATMEAL PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS, you will not use all water. Rather, you will use a 50/50 split of water and apple cider. Not hard cider, though I’m sure boozy oatmeal would be its own special thing — no, I’m talking about the semi-unprocessed apple juice. You could maybe use apple juice, instead, but I’ve never tried it. Just use cider. You can also use 100% cider, but be advised, you have to watch the pot and stir it more, because that can burn the oatmeal to the bottom right quick. And nobody wants a charred cider oatmeal crust at the bottom. Though that does sound like something you’d get as part of the dessert at some fancy hipster gastrobistropub. “Scallop-foam cheesecake with kumquat microfoam, splashed with a dalliance of aquafaba creme fraiche, and settled delicately upon a charred cider oatmeal crust.” That, or maybe in a recipe an artificial intelligence wrote.
Also into the oatmeal goes a scattering of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla. As it cooks, not after.
That’s the oatmeal sorted.
There are, of course, toppings.
First, you’re going to slice an apple thin, and then cook those slicey-slices during the oatmeal cook time. Put ’em in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet with a pad of butter. Get them a little caramelized — not burned! Just get some color on them. Then put in a splash of the cider and, if the apples aren’t particularly tart, orange juice or lemon juice. Use the liquid to scrape up the apple fond.
If you don’t know what fond is, Google it.
I’m quite *giggle* fond of fond *titter*.
Put it on low, let it cook down. You want the apples soft, but not mush.
Get yourself a handful of pecans. Dealer’s choice as to amount.
Toast them in a toaster oven, or just your… regular oven. Or hold them underneath a tiny dragon’s mouth. I don’t care how you do it. Just toast them, you’re an adult, you can figure this shit out. Again, you don’t want them burned, for fuck’s sake. If they get burned, throw them out and start again, because now I’m judging you.
(And ugh fine, here is how you toast pecans: in my toaster oven it’s like, two minutes on low toast. In a proper oven, it’s like 5-10 minutes on 350. Under a dragon’s mouth, it’s 30 seconds or less, depending on the potency of the tiny dragon’s breath weapon.)
You can also use walnuts, but pecans are better for this, trust me.
Once the oatmeal and the apples are done —
Here is the construction order.
Oatmeal goes into a bowl. Or whatever receptacle you eat out of. One of your ugly shoes, a jockstrap, the skull of an enemy, whatever.
Put a pad of butter atop it. Right there in the center.
Then sprinkle cacao nibs over it, if you have them. They’re good crunch, and they add a little bit of that bitter cocoa back-of-the-mouth taste to the whole shazam.
Then, construct a pyre, a cairn, an obelisk of the cooked apples. Arrange them in the middle as if you were trying to appease some kind of heretical APPLE GOD. Because you are. Do not fail the ELDER PIPPIN, for if you do, the APPLE DEITY will turn your teeth to apple seeds.
Then, atop that go the toasted pecans. A scattering. A smattering. A gleeful toss, as if you’re a wealthy person casting dice in a game of craps where the bet is a million dollars, but who cares because you have a billion more dollars left if you lose.
Then, atop that goes a swirl of foesblood, as in, the blood of a foe.
No, ha ha, wait, sorry, that’s for WIZARD’S PORRIDGE. Different recipe.
In this, a splash of milk or heavy cream around the edges.
Then you stop talking and start eating.
I will await a rain of baubles and treasure now. RAIN GLORY UPON ME IN SERVICE TO THE APPLE GOD. *spreads arms wide, spins around drunkenly, chanting IA IA APPLE TREEIA*