Wednesday, 6 August 2014

My Cherry Amore :-)

Fiocchi d'Avena al Forno con Ciliegie & Banana
Baked Oatmeal with Cherries & Banana


Cherries! Freash, juicy- delicious... and lots of them! I spent the day doing a photo-shoot for work yesterday, where we needed them as a background element and our friendly photographer and food-stylist shared them out, which meant that lil' ol' me came home with a carton full of these beauties and no idea what to do with them!

Of course, I could just snack on them... or I could make jam or some kind of compote- but you know that's not going to happen! Lovely as that would be- you will not find me making anything that is filled with sugar!

Nope- being as sensible and boring as I am, I made this yummy and down-to-earth oatmeal instead... and as yummy as it was hot- I am really looking forward to it cold in the morning, with a scoop of yogurt for my breakfast! I am glad I made enough for 2-3 servings!

The cherries were pretty sweet- they had a little sour tanginess to them, but otherwise needed next-to no added sugar- which was great! I decided to keep things pretty natural by adding some ripe banana, which gave enough mildness, sweetness and smooth texture, to make what would normally have been an ordinary bowl of oatmeal into a tasty, fruity treat!

Beautiful, fresh cherries! Make sure to use them whilst they are still firm... because once you start popping-out those stones... you will discover how messy things can get!

It does take a little time to clean up the cherries, it is a little messy... but with just 30 minutes or so of actual cooking-time- this is totally worth it! As simple as this is, it is good enough to serve as a dessert... you had better believe it!


Put your cherries straight into a hot saucepan with plenty of cinnamon and of course, sugar if necessary... although as I already mentioned, my cherries were absolutely sweet enough for my taste. Let them heat up, give off their juices and bubble away for 2-3 minutes- not too long, as you don't want them to lose their consistency and disintegrate to nothing... where would be the fun in that?

After 3-4 minutes, add the chopped banana and oatmeal. To one small bowlful of cherries I added 1 banana and 1 cup of oatmeal and 1 cup of milk. Stir these together gently until everything is nicely and evenly mixed together.


Turn on your oven and get it nice and hot and in the meantime, remove your oatmeal from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes, before adding a sprinkle of plain oatmeal on top. This will give it time to absorb the juices and the milk, it will give the banana a chance to slowly soften and stick to the oatmeal and will allow the whole mixture to begin to set slightly.


Bake in a hot oven, 200°, for 10-15 minutes, then add a drizzle of honey and return for a final 2-3 minutes under the broiler to get the top nice and crispy and caramelized... delicious!

I love that the fruit is not over-cooked, that there are still lovely, big juicy pieces in there, and that you have the chewy, soft oatmeal as well as the crispy topping... seriously- what's not to love?

This was yummy served just as it was- but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Oh yes! Maybe just a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt if you want to keep it healthy? Well, yes indeed! That would work nicely too!

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