Monday, February 14, 2011

Crazy, hazy, lazy winter dessert

In retrospect, I could've made this a lot more complicated without much additional effort. There should've been sliced almonds, for instance. I might've added a layer of melted chocolate. Or I could've remembered those apples I picked up yesterday and made a crisp instead. But no, it's Valentine's Day, and for some reason, I wanted a berry dessert. But it's far from berry season. What to do?

If you've got jam, you can make...this. I don't know what to call it. Somewhere between a crisp and a bar cookie, I guess. It requires maybe 5 minutes of work and 20 minutes in the oven. To be honest, I didn't even really measure -- it's not such hardcore baking that it can't manage a little fudging.

What you need:
  • Jam or preserves (I used raspberry fruit spread, with seeds)
  • Rolled oats -- ~1 cup
  • Brown sugar -- 2-3 Tbsp
  • Flour (whole wheat works fine) -- ~1/2 cup
  • Pinch of spices (I went with cinnamon and cloves)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil or melted butter/margarine -- up to 1/4 cup
Heat the oven to 350 F. Mix together all the dry ingredients with a fork, then drizzle in a few tablespoons of oil. Mix again, and if it's not quite coming together, add a little more oil and mix until the desired consistency is achieved. It shouldn't be OILY, just moist and starting to clump. Press a little bit more than half of the oat mixture into a pie plate (or other similarly-sized baking dish) to form a nice, flat bottom crust. Tamp it down with the fork or your hand. Then, spread a few dollops of jam on the surface, going for maaaaybe 1/4-inch thick layer. Spread the remaining oat mixture evenly over the jam layer. Stick it in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top layer starts to brown and the jam is bubbly. Let it cool a few minutes, then dish it up and eat.



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