Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oatmeal Terrine

Say what? Let's break it down. Oatmeal, a tasty and heart healthy breakfast, especially good on chilly mornings. Terrine, a dish most often used as a mold to shape pulverized meat into a sliceable loaf, served cold. The dish also gives its name to the dish it molds, i.e. Salmon Terrine. Though less common, terrines are not always scary, squished together meat parts -  and thank goodness. There are ones like this Caramel Pear Terrine that I'm waiting on an occasion to make. You can tack terrine onto the end of anything you're essentially using a mold to shape. I grant verbiage freedoms like that.

But back to the oatmeal terrine. A quick Googling reveals that South End Buttery in Boston is the only place in the universe that makes this and inspires others to recreate. This is where I first had one and was wowed by the taste and the idea; eating cooling --not warming-- oatmeal like cake for breakfast! I'm telling you, and I think you'll agree, it's instantly more decadent and more of an experience when you're eating something like cake. This also has a "crust" of flaxseed meal, which is good for you! But also, optional.

And yes, I always adorn my oatmeal terrines with a scattering of fruit and nuts, just so, exactly as shown here.

The how-to after the jump!

Of course I'm basing this on my guessing how the South End Buttery does it, I have no inside knowledge (how I wish I had an insider there). But judging from how others online have tried to recreate it and well, from having eaten what I've made, I'd say this is pretty much it - and it's pretty simple.

SPECIAL MATERIALS: Something to act as a terrine

You could use a number of things but you'll probably want something loaf-ish, making it easy to slice and proportion. The Pyrex refrigerator dishes are pretty perfect for this - and these days, who doesn't have one or know exactly which vintage vendor to source one? In the photo below, I used a Pyrex 1 1/2 pint refrigerator dish. In the photo below that, I'm using a small 6-oz (guessing) ramekin.

Essentially, you're making oatmeal as your normally would, just let it get pretty thick. If you're a soupy oatmealer, just hold your horses, let it cook down more. If you're already sturdy oatmealer, stay as you are! Great job! I under-sweeten my oatmeal because I prefer to sweeten it when I eat it by drizzling honey or maple syrup on the top. You'll need to make a call on how many servings will fit in your terrine. For the Pyrex dish this is two servings, or 1 cup uncooked oatmeal, but it will probably hold three servings.

My basic oatmeal:

1 cup water, 1 cup soy milk, pinch of salt. Set over burner and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup rolled oats and reduce heat slightly. When it's good and thick, but not dry or scorched, take it off the heat and add your bits. It's oatmeal, the possibilities are limitless, dress it up with the nuts and fruits you prefer and add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup. Again, add more if you like it really sweet. I've been told that I like things that taste like sawdust and cardboard. Alternatively you could sweeten with sugar, brown sugar, or agave.


If you want, you can coat the outside with flaxseed meal or bran. This is how the Buttery does it and I like that it gives a distinction between the outside and inside and it's certainly good for you. The oatmeal terrine comes out quite tacky and you could pour the meal/bran onto it and coat it that way, but it's a little more cumbersome (trust me). You can also line your loaf pan with plastic wrap, enough to hang over the sides a bit. Then spray the inside with oil, I use canola, and coat the interior with the meal/bran as if you were dusting a cake pan.

*Note, I've also tried spraying and coating the inside of the terrine sans plastic wrap but the meal ended up staying on the dish and not the oatmeal. 

Once your oatmeal has cooled some (don't melt the plastic wrap) spoon it into the terrine, press it in and even  out the surface, and wrap the plastic wrap over the exposed side as in the photo above. Place in the refrigerator and let chill overnight.

When it's chilled take it out of the dish and plastic wrap and you'll have yourself one fine bullion of oatmeal.

Slice it up and top with fresh fruit and drizzle with something sweet. Enjoy oatmeal all year 'round!

Also, oatmeal this way is pretty easy to pack up and take to work for a breakfast lunch.


  1. Oh my. I think I'll have to try this soon!

  2. This intrigues me, I am going to give it a go.


  3. This was a revelation! I'm a big oatmeal fan but a piping-hot bowl of it isn't exactly the thing when it's already 80 degrees at 8:00. This terrine is fabulous and the only hard part is remembering to make it the night before.

  4. Lisa-Marie, Alice: Please do!

    Bridgit: I know! But the reward of remembering it the night before is waking up and realizing you barely have to do anything to have breakfast that morning! Just put the coffee on and cut a slice. Bam.