Tropical Oatmeal Brulee with Ginger-Orange Cream

I have been craving oatmeal lately and wanted a "summery" way to eat it.  I usually gorge on the good stuff during fall and winter so I thought making a tropical fruit oatmeal would make it seem more appropriate for the season.  Well, it is delicious but it's also heavy and rich. 

As my friend and taste-tester H.G. pointed out, this would also be fabulous as a dessert topped with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream. 

In my version, I use dried mango, papaya, raisins, pineapple, and coconut.  And I use fresh mango for the surprise bottom layer.  However, you can sub in whatever fruits you'd like to.  Any sort of fresh berries would be great with dried apricots, cherries, or cranberries.  Go crazy, friends!

Tropical Oatmeal Brulee with Ginger-Orange Cream
Makes 4 servings
Time: 30-40 min.

Ginger-Orange Cream:
1/2 c. heavy cream
1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 4 pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 T. orange zest
3 T. pure maple syrup
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

4 c. water
2 c. old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 c. dried fruit, chopped (I use pineapple, mango, papaya, raisins, and coconut)
1/2 t. salt
3 T. brown sugar, packed
1 c. fresh or frozen fruit, thawed (I use mango)
1/4 c. sugar
butter for ramekins

Bring the cream, ginger, cinnamon, and zest to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 10 minutes.  Strain infused cream and discard solids.  Stir in the maple syrup and nutmeg.

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Turn heat to medium, and add the oats, dried fruit, and salt, stirring for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar and 1/4 c. of the ginger-orange cream.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes. 

Grease four 10-oz. ramekins with butter and add the fresh mango to the bottom.

Pre-heat broiler and place ramekins on baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean up.  Fill ramekins with oatmeal.  Sprinkle tops with sugar.  Broil until sugar is caramelized.  Serve with ginger-orange cream (or ice cream or whipped cream).

If you have any fresh ginger left over, go ahead and make a simple syrup infused with ginger for a delicious Ginger Vodka Tonic. 

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