Inspired by a trip to New Hampshire’s maple country, this maple pecan oatmeal recipe celebrates the maple sap flowing from trees this season.
By Chrissy Barua
Here we are celebrating spring, and while the weather’s not as warm as we all wish it would be, we have the alternating warm-cold, freeze-thaw to thank for the maple goodness that inundates the market each April. From Vermont to New Hampshire to even here in our own Michigan backyard, the sap has been freely flowing for the past six weeks or so, and those sugar magicians, professionals and amateurs alike, are working their magic with rituals that have been passed down through the generations.
I recently ventured into New Hampshire maple country to see for myself the Maple Madness that takes over the state all March long. Tucked into the White Mountains, Polly’s Pancake Parlor has been serving short and tall stacks since 1938, highlighting the best the season has to offer all year round.
My recipe for maple pecan oatmeal incorporates Hurricane Sauce, a brilliant creation from one of Polly’s loyal customers, Mrs. Murray S. Danforth, and the whole package creates that stick-to-your-ribs breakfast — still necessary until winter truly makes its exit.
Maple Pecan Oatmeal
Total time: 2 hours
For the Hurricane Sauce
2 cups real maple syrup
3 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, sliced very thinly
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the oatmeal
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Make the Hurricane Sauce: Simmer syrup and butter together. Add the apples and cook very gently to not break up the apple slices. Cook slowly over 1.5 hours until apples are transparent and the liquid is more syrupy than juicy.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oats, water and milk. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is a thick consistency.
To serve, divide the oatmeal into two bowls and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the Hurricane Sauce in each bowl. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons pecans and sprinkle each with cinnamon. Serve warm.
Chrissy Barua is the author of her food and travel blog “The Hungary Buddha Eats the World,” a global culinary journey she started over six years ago in an attempt to make everyday food as interesting as the food she eats on her travels. She collects recipes from anywhere she can find: in-flight magazines, newspapers, books or, if she’s lucky, a grandmother willing to share a family secret. In real life, she’s an attorney based in Ann Arbor and spends her days supporting the basic sciences at the University of Michigan. She moonlights as a recipe developer for various online sources and is always dreaming of where to take her next vacation. Follow her antics on Instagram at @thehungarybuddha, and check out her website thehungarybuddha.com for recipes, tips, tricks and travel adventures.
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