This is not a very sweet baked oatmeal but is very dense, very heavy with good "stick to the ribs" qualities that keeps you feeling full! It is packed with oats in various forms (flakes, meal and bran). It’s sweet enough for me, especially with fruit but for those who like it sweeter, it can be topped with your favorite stewed fruit, maple syrup or additional spoonfuls of dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is a caramelized condensed milk with a delightful flavor. It is not used to excess here so as to be overwhelming.
2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup Scottish oatmeal
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup flax meal
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup dry, shredded coconut
6 ozs dried Medjool dates, halved
1/2 cup walnut halves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups half and half
1 can (14 fl oz) La Lecherea Dulce de Leche
1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, oatmeal, oat bran, flax meal, baking powder, and salt.
2. Mix the milk, brown sugar, dulce de leche and half and half in a saucepan. Bring to just under simmer, stirring constantly until the dulce de leche is mixed in with the milk. Allow to cool.
3. Heavily grease a 8x8x2 inch baking tin or Pyrex dish (If I’m using Pyrex, I put about 1-2 tablespoons of butter in the dish, microwave to melt, then swirl around to coat the bottom and sides just like you would do when making a bread pudding).
4. Whisk the eggs, and add the lukewarm milk mixture to this.
5. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to distribute the solids evenly. Decorate the top with date halves and walnut halves. Refrigerate for a few hours (6 hours at least) or overnight for the dry ingredients to absorb the wet mixture. Prior to baking, pour an additional 1/4 cup of half and half over the top of the oatmeal and poke holes in the mixture with a skewer to aid absorption of the liquid.
6. Bake in a water bath for 1 hour and twenty to thirty minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until the center is set, firm to the touch, has a golden color, and a cake tester inserted comes out relatively clean (I use a food thermometer to make sure that the center temperature is 164 degrees Fahrenheit or just above).