Steel-cut oats result in a textured oatmeal, with a deliciously chewy yet tender bite. They do require longer simmering than regular oatmeal, but it’s worth the effort. If you’re short on time, soak the oats overnight to reduce the cooking time to 5 to 10 minutes. Top with crunchy sugared pecans and cinnamon-coated pears, and you’ll be in oatmeal heaven.
Steel-Cut Oats with Honeyed Pears and Glazed Pecans
4 cups water
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup steel-cut oats
1 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup pecans
2 tsp. sugar
2 ripe, juicy pears, such as Comice or Anjou, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
3 Tbs. honey
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Half-and-half, cream or milk for serving
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, combine the water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the oats and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the oats are done to your preferred texture, 25 to 35 minutes.
In a fry pan over medium heat, melt the 1 tsp. butter. Add the pecans and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and the pecans are toasted and glazed, about 1 minute. Transfer to a chopping board. Let the pecans cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Set aside. Rinse out the fry pan.
Just before the oatmeal is done, in the same fry pan over medium heat, melt the 1 Tbs. butter. Add the pears and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have given off some juices and are heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the honey and cinnamon and stir just until the honey melts.
Divide the oatmeal among 4 bowls. Top with equal amounts of the pears and their juices along with the pecans. Drizzle each serving with some half-and-half and serve hot. Serves 4.
Variation: Substitute Golden Delicious apples for the pears. To spice things up, add a sprinkling of minced crystallized ginger to the topping.