Rolled oats (Recipe: nectarine and white peach crisp)
What are rolled oats, anyway?
Why are they rolled?
What's the difference between rolled oats and oatmeal, and steel-cut oats?
Inquiring minds want to know.
And I wanted to know, too, before I added rolled oats to The Perfect Pantry a couple of years ago.
What are rolled oats?
Whole oats or oat groats (with only the outer hull removed) that are steamed, rolled flat, and flaked to make them cook more quickly. Rolled oats and oatmeal are one in the same. Steel-cut oats are cut into pieces instead of rolled into flakes. Instant oatmeal is pre-cooked, so don't substitute instant oatmeal for rolled oats.
How/where to store:
In a cool, dry part of the pantry, in an airtight container for up to one year. If you live in a humid place (like New England has been this summer), store rolled oats in the freezer.
More facts about rolled oats, and ingredient photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Rolled oats (Recipe: apple-pear-cranberry crisp)
Nectarine and white peach crisp
When peaches and nectarines are in season at the farm stand, buy both and combine them in this easy dessert. If you remember to pick a few raspberries from your neighbor's patch, add those in, too. (I didn't, but that's my plan later this week.) You can bake the crisp in individual ramekins, which cuts the baking time to 20-25 minutes. My husband Ted describes this crisp as 'heavenly.' Based on a recipe for peach crisp by chef Anne Burrell on the Food Network web site, this recipe serves 6.
For the filling:
3 large nectarines
4 large white-fleshed peaches (or regular peaches)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries
Pinch of kosher salt
For the topping:
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 sticks (10 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional, but delicious)
Pinch of kosher salt
1-2 Tbsp cold water
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and set aside a gratin dish approximately 9x11 inches and at least 2 inches deep.
Pit the nectarines and peaches, and cut into bite-size chunks. Toss them in a mixing bowl with the lemon zest and juice. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, and stir to combine. Pour the filling into the gratin dish and spread evenly.
Combine all of the topping ingredients, except the water, in a food processor. Pulse until combined (approximately 20-30 seconds). Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is slightly clumpy, and still crumbly.
Sprinkle the topping over the fruit; don't pack it down, just sprinkle lightly. You might not use all of the topping, depending on the size of your gratin dish (I use 2/3 of the topping, and save the rest in the refrigerator for another small crisp). There should be bits of fruit peeking out here and there.
Place the dish into the preheated oven and bake for 30-32 minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the topping is lightly browned and crisp.
Serve hot or warm, topped (if you wish) with vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or Greek yogurt.
Other recipes that use rolled oats:
Oatmeal raisin cookies, from Simply Recipes
Dan Lepard's Apple and Oats Bread, from Sweet Sins
Honey-toasted fruit muesli, from 101 Cookbooks
Wheat free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, from Baking Bites
Whole wheat zucchini oat muffins, from Amber's Delectable Delights