Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. --Martin Luther
I have been on a serious caramel kick lately too. I've been making it to dip everything into and especially apples. We really love homemade caramel apples in the evening for a quick snack and that craving basically inspired this simple and delicious breakfast.
2 cups filtered water
1 cup rolled oats, I actually used this "thick" variety
1 small to medium organic apple, I used Gala
1/2 cup coconut sugar, like this one
A pinch of salt, no more than 1/4 tsp.
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup, like this one
1. Start Oatmeal: Combine water and salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add oatmeal, reduce heat to low, and simmer. Dice your apple, but not too small (see photos), and add half to the oatmeal after it has started to simmer; reserve the other half. Let the oatmeal simmer on low/ medium-low while you move on to the next step. How to Quickly Dice an Apple.
2. Start Caramel: In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Watch it closely and once it's melted add the coconut sugar and salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir to dissolve. Increase heat to medium/ medium-high, bring to a boil and boil stirring for two minutes. Then add the maple syrup, reduce heat to low, and continue to boil, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened. This will take about 5-10 minutes. You will need to reduce heat to low so it doesn't boil too crazy. *** For step by step instructions to make the caramel sauce, follow this link.
3. Combine: When the oatmeal is finished, split into two small bowls and garnish each bowl with remaining apple pieces. Then drizzle the caramel on top, a few tablespoons per bowl (or more - no judgment!), and store any remaining caramel in a small jar in the refrigerator.
Comments: This makes two servings of oatmeal, but could easily be doubled, especially since you will have plenty of caramel. I also make a single-serving all the time by cutting the oatmeal in half - you'll have extra apple, which is nice just to eat on the side. You will make about 8 oz. of caramel and it is easily stored in the refrigerator for future use. I love having it around and you can use it for a quick caramel apple snack, or for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, etc. You'll need to reheat before using.
A note about caramel: Caramel is a finicky beast.... I make it quite often and have used various methods. Technically, you will want to bring it to a specific temperature per a candy thermometer to ensure it "caramelizes". I have no such patience and rather enjoy the adventure of making it without one.
So, a few tips to ensure you have gooey caramel - make sure you bring your ingredients to a boil and maintain a boil until the sauce starts to thicken... and then cook just a bit longer to be sure. The worst case scenario is that it will taste like caramel but will not be as thick and gooey as you want, although that's usually still fine by me. Remember, practice makes perfect! If you are really worried about it turning out perfectly, you can buy a candy thermometer and follow a more rigid method.
The caramel in the photos looks thin on the oatmeal, which is because I drizzled it right after taking it off the heat and poured it onto the hot oatmeal. Even though it looks a bit thin in the photos, it is already "gooey" since I waited for it to thicken up a bit before I took it off the heat.
I reserved the rest in a small glass jar, and it thickened up quite nicely after sitting out on the counter for a bit.
Here's the caramel after cooling off on the counter for about 15 minutes. See how nice and thick it is? It will get even thicker as it cools a bit more.
This post was shared on Strut Your Stuff Saturday, What I Am Eating, Sweet and Savory Saturdays, Natural Living Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Fat Tuesday, Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. Please follow the links for other great recipe ideas.