GRANOLA, MAPLE NUT GRANOLA
Cooking with Shelburne Farms
Granola is easy to make and fun to customize with your choice of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. Store-bought ones always seem stingy on the nuts and fruit to me, so I load mine Up.
Makes: about 7 cups (can easily be doubled)
Before You Start
We like our granola to have clumps and find we get the most by using some honey, turning the mixture carefully just once during cooking rather than stirring, and letting it cool completely before touching it. Just a pinch of salt really brings out the other flavors.
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup. Grade B for strongest flavor
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 tablespoon granulated maple sugar or light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon table salt
• 3 cups old-fashioned oats (quick-cooking are fine, but not instant)
• 1 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) or raw sunflower seeds
• 1 cup natural slivered, sliced, or roughly chopped whole natural almonds or other nut of your choice, such as cashews, pecans, or pistachios
• 2 cups sweetened dried cherries or cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 15 by 10-inch rimmed cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, syrup, honey, maple sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. Pour the wet mixture over the oat mixture and toss until evenly coated. Spread the granola evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until deep golden brown.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and leave the oven door ajar to bring the temperature down while you use a spatula to gently turn the granola, trying not to break up clumps. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until the granola is toasty brown, but watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
4. Set the pan on a wire cooling rack and do not touch the granola until it has completely cooled. Break it into desired size clumps and mix in the dried cherries. Store in an airtight container.
Variation: Try changing your dried fruit seasonally like Shelburne Farms employee Tammy Long and her husband Geof do with the Green Mountain Granola they make for the Inn and other customers. They mix in dried blueberries during the summer, apples in the fall, and cranberries with apricots for the holidays.
Tip: You can double the recipe and make two pans at once Switch the pans between the upper and lower racks halfway through the higher-temperature baking time, and add a few minutes to both baking phases.