We eat a lot of oatmeal in my house- from classic oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar to several variations on Heidi Swanson recipes including a prune and hazelnut porridge and a pear almond kefir baked oatmeal. We don’t tire of oats. Still, I’m always looking for new ways to eat them. I got the idea of making a custard-filled baked oatmeal from Marion Cunningham’s wonderful recipe for custard-filled cornbread which I’ve made countless times. I love how the cream poured in just before baking creates a magical custard layer under the cornbread and I wanted to see if the same technique would work with rolled oats. I got to experimenting and much to my delight, it worked! I’m a big fan of bananas and walnuts in oatmeal so that’s where I went first but this would be delicious with other fruit as well. It works as a make ahead breakfast too. My son devoured this four days in a row (it reheats nicely both in the microwave and in our toaster oven).
Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in an oven-proof frying pan. I use a 9” cast iron skillet. Once the butter is melted, carefully transfer it from the pan into a small dish and set aside to cool a bit. Put the pan back on the stove and, being careful not to burn yourself, cover the bottom of the pan with a single layer of sliced bananas. Turn the burner on low and leave the pan while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You want to keep the pan hot for when you pour in the batter and get a bit of caramelization on the bananas in the meantime. Different stoves and pans heat differently, though, so be careful not to burn your bananas!
In a mixing bowl beat together the eggs and the melted butter. Add the sugar, salt, milk, maple syrup, and vinegar and stir until well blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and then stir in the rolled oats and rye flakes.
Dump the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir together until there are no floury bits. Sprinkle the walnut pieces over the bananas and pour the batter on top of the bananas and walnuts into the hot frying pan. Next, pour the cream into the center of the batter. Do not stir!
Carefully place the hot pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned and tester comes out clean. Serve warm!