MAPLE PECAN GRANOLA
We have been getting very serious lately with a lot of cooking and not so much baking, with new years resolutions, commitments to lessen food waste and what not, so I feel like it's time to give you something sweet before we continue on our savoury path for 2015.
Granola is not only easy to make, it's also easy to live with. You can get home, have nothing lying around, grab a yoghurt, a couple of tablespoons of granola, some honey and you are set for the next couple of hours. There is something very satisfying about spending a little time in the kitchen, bottling up what you have made and having a supply to last you for a couple of weeks (if you are lucky).
This version is adapted from what is probably my favourite baking book: "Good to the Grain" by Kim Boyce. It has maple syrup in it, so that alone guarantees a beautiful flavour. Some pecans are tossed in for just the right amount of texture and quite a lot of coconut is added for more flavour and bulk. I don't like dried fruit in my granola, so I have omitted the dried blueberries the recipe called for, but feel free to add them if you do.
Just as I was making this (for the second time), I realized that one of the best granolas I have ever had was a maple bacon combo. I had no bacon at home, but you can bet that the next time I write about granola, it will be about a maple bacon granola. I just have to figure out how to incorporate the bacon flavour without turning this into greasy land. I will tell you how I fare.
• 2 cups (218gr) pecan halves
• 3 cups (270gr) old fashioned oats
• 2 cups (186) unsweetened coconut
• 1/2 (75gr) cup oat bran
• 1 cup (316gr) maple syrup
• 1/2 stick (55gr) butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
•dried fruit (optional)
1. Heat your oven to 170ºC. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Measure oats, coconut, wheat bran and toasted pecans into a large bowl and toss them together. Squeeze the pecans to break some into small pieces.
2. To make the syrup, measure the maple syrup into a small saucepan. Place it over medium high heat for 7-10 minutes to reduce the syrup to 3/4 cup. It’s fine to have slightly more than 3/4 cup, but do not let it go below that amount or the granola will lose it’s gloss. After measuring, pour the reduced syrup back into the pot and add the butter and salt. Swirl the syrup until it melts.
3. As soon as the syrup is done, immediately pour it over the oat mixture, making sure to use the spatula to scrape every last bit out. Use the spatula to combine. This means going over and over tossing and scraping to make sure the syrup has coated every bit of the dry ingredients.
4. Scrape the granola evenly over the prepared baking sheets, spreading it evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven and scrape the outer edges of the granola toward the center and the center out to the edges. Repeat this two more times for a total of 30 minutes.
5. Allow the granola to cool thoroughly on the sheets; this allows the clumps to form. Once the granola has cooled stir in the dried fruit if you are using it.
Adapted from "Good to the Grain", by Kim Boyce