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The 1-Oven, 1-Hour(ish) Brunch: A Curated Menu

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

Who's having brunch these days, anyway? Without guests, the guarantee of getting everything on your grocery list, or real "Sundays," why even bother with this ordeal?

All good questions.

doughnut cake, veggie egg quiches, granola, parfaits

But here's the thing. We still need that ambiguously-timed, sprawling meal that is used by some as an excuse to have a really early happy hour. Maybe now more than ever. And so here it is: a curated brunch menu that you can make in an hour in the oven. And when I say an hour, I mean bake time, not prep time. It's really more like 1 hour and maybe 15 minutes, depending on how fast you move in the kitchen. I want to be totally straight about that, because I hate it when recipes hide all the real work and time in the so-called ingredient list. If I see "4 cups of grated carrots" in the ingredient list to a 25-minute recipe, I say to myself, "who do you think you're fooling, Martha?" And then I get my grater and grab a band aid for good measure. But I digress. Read on for a step-by-step, weekend-at-home, busy brunch guide.

This menu features three easy items that you can make in your oven at roughly the same time, so you can be triply efficient! (Yep, triply is a word, I checked it twice.) These are not my recipes (credits below), but I figured out how to get the most out of them by cooking them together!

First, scan the orange text below to make sure you have all the ingredients. Then, follow my plan to save the most time. This menu will cover you if you're cooking for your family or just for one! Everything on this menu will keep for several days and you can easily freeze half the batch for later. So go ahead, make yourself a huge brunch and then enjoy it for breakfast, lunch (and heck, maybe even dinner, who's keeping track?) all week long.

The Menu:

Veggie & Egg Quiches (use this recipe from Nestle)

Old-Fashioned Doughnut Cake (loving this recipe from The view from great island -- super simple!)

Homemade Cardamom Granola with Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits (adapt this recipe from The kitchn)

Add-ons: if you want more, throw in croissants or bread, a bagged salad, veggie sausage,and a sparkling beverage!

Exactly How to Get it Done:

1. Grab an apron and a drink. Take 6 eggs out of the fridge. Grab 5 big mixing bowls (or even big pots will do). Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Prep all your bakeware: Grease & flour 1 muffin tin + 1 bundt pan and grease/line 1 cookie sheet.

3. Gather, measure, and prep all your ingredients for the cake + the granola. This will take a few minutes. We'll be using the recipes linked above, so you'll want to open and peruse them. But for convenience, here's everything you'll need from the recipes and exactly what order to prep them in:

For the cake -- measure and dump these dry ingredients into bowl #1:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour (and don't put this away, you'll need it again)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of ground rolled oats (you'll need to grind about 2 cups in a blender and then leave the oats out for later)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (or use cinnamon or cardamom, and don't put it away)

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (don't put away)

Then (still for the cake), measure and dump these wet ingredients into bowl #2:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of buttermilk (or use 1 and 3/4 cups of milk + 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar)

  • 3/4 cup of oil (vegetable or canola) (don't put away)

  • 3 large eggs (hopefully now closer to room temperature)

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the granola -- measure and dump these ingredients into bowl #3:

  • 1/2 cup of oil (canola or olive)

  • 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom or cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  • 3 cups of rolled oats

  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)

4. Follow the easy mixing steps in the cake recipe and then get that cake in the oven, stat! Once that's in the oven, set your master timer to 50 minutes. Set your granola-bowl aside for later and then prep these ingredients for the quiches:

For the quiche -- measure, chop, and dump these ingredients into bowl #4:

  • 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk (or 1 extra egg and 3/4 cup of milk)

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons of flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (I like cheddar here, but use what you like)

  • 2 cups of frozen broccoli or other veggies -- thaw/microwave, drain, and chop until you have 2 cupfuls

  • 1/2 cup of any bell pepper -- chop it!

5. Finish prepping the quiches following the recipe and put them into the oven when you have about 30 minutes left on the master timer (or just put them in whenever and set a separate 30-min timer for the quiches).

6. Mix up the granola ingredients and spread the mixture onto your cookie sheet per the recipe (note: the recipe calls for mixing the ingredients in two stages, but it's fine to mix everything in one bowl). Get that granola in the oven when you have about 20 minutes left on the master timer (or just put the granola in whenever and set a separate 20-min timer for it). Note, you'll be cooking it at a slightly higher temperature than called for, but it should still work out fine.

7. At this point, all three dishes should be baking away in the oven.

Use this time to wash/prep any fresh or frozen fruit you'd like to use for the parfaits (I like frozen or fresh berries or bananas here), and scoop vanilla or plain yogurt into cups for the parfaits.

Check your timer and the stuff in the oven. Everything should be done when the 50-min master time goes off, but take a peek and use your judgment (and toothpicks) at the end to determine when to remove each item. The cake is the most important item to be precise about here; the quiches and granola are bit more forgiving and can stay in the oven a little longer, as needed.

8. When the cake has cooled slightly, stir up 2 cups of powdered sugar with about 1/3 cup of water, and glaze the cake as instructed by the recipe. Then, assemble the parfaits, make yourself a plate, and get eating. Setting the table is optional.



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