Valentine’s Day tends to bring about strong opinions by everyone, whether they are excited about an intense romance, dreading the loneliness, or feeling an upwelling of bitterness towards all of the pink-and-red-drenched stores. No matter where you fall on this scale, go camping on Valentine’s Day this year. Falling on a Sunday, this is a great opportunity to break away from the suburban life to focus on how you feel. The experience will fulfill anyone’s personal needs on this emotional day.
This oatmeal pancakes recipe is a gourmet twist on the typical camping cuisine of instant oatmeal and trail mix. Assuming you’ll be headed home from your journey later in the day, breakfast is the perfect meal to fancy up for a celebratory treat.The oats in the batter thicken up the pancake and give it an almost cookie-like texture, and the fruit compote is a welcome replacement to sticky syrup all over your gear. For true luxury, dollop some sour cream on top as well. Easy enough to make, even if you are a boy who never cooks anything more than instant oatmeal. Special enough to impress your soulmate or your large group of friends. Filling enough to give you the energy for one more full day of climbing without having to cook another meal. The recipe written is for pancakes from scratch, but by all means grab a box of instant, just-add-water pancake mix, throw in some oats and pecans, and you’ll still get a result that will deliver. If you’re making them based on my recipe, I would suggest mixing the dry ingredients in a baggie/jar at home before the trip.To make this recipe very valentine-y, try a dried berry compote instead of apricots.
Get out, away from the masses, to a magical natural world, go for a hike, watch the sunset, enjoy quietly being. (Together.)
Valentine's Oatmeal Pancakes with Dried Fruit Compote
Prep Time / Cook Time/
Activity GuideBike Touring, Car Camping
- 1 cup dried fruit, chopped
- 3 cups jasmine tea (or whatever you have)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- juice from half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 stick butter, melted, plus more for buttering skillet
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Medium pot
- Mixing spoon
- 2 bowls (just 1 if you premixed dry ingredients at home)
For the Dried Fruit Compote
- Pour jasmine tea over fruit in a pot, enough to cover. Add sugar, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
- Place on stove over medium-low heat and simmer, covered about 20 minutes, until it becomes thickened and syrupy.
For the Pancakes
- To melt the butter, place the lid of a pot upside down (or skillet) on top of your boiling fruit compote or tea (see photo). Place cubes of butter in the lid/skillet. This will melt the butter without it burning, and even pre-butter your skillet for you for when you’re ready to start the pancakes.
- Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
- In a separate bowl, mix the butter, half-and-half, eggs and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla together.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet (not vice-versa, so you only have to really wash one bowl) until just mixed. Fold chopped pecans into batter.
- Drop a large spoonful of batter into a buttered skillet on medium high. Let it cook until bubbling on top. Flip. Let cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Cover with foil to keep oatmeal pancakes warm if serving formally.
- Serve pancakes topped with fruit compote, sour cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar.