Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of granola. It’s not that I don’t care for it at all, it’s just that it’s generally not the first thing that comes to mind when I’m thinking about what to eat. That said, there are a couple of times of year when I CRAVE granola: in the summer when the berries are at their sweetest and ripest and are the perfect topping to granola and honeyed yogurt, and in the fall, when apples and cranberries are bountiful and the scent of granola baking away in the oven is comforting and homey.
A few weeks ago, we met my brother-in-law, his wife and their twins at Blue Heron Farm in Charlemont, MA for a weekend getaway. It’s a lovely working farm, featuring a sugar house, Norwegian Fjord horses, and vacation rentals. The farm produces hundreds of gallons of certified organic maple syrup each year and it is delicious. Inspired by the prospect of crisp fall mornings and maple syrup(!) I developed this recipe for Maple Apple Pecan Granola with Dried Cranberries. I think it is best served over greek yogurt with a hearty pour of maple syrup, though in my house it is consumed at lightening speed straight from a jar on the counter.
Maple Apple Pecan Granola with Dried Cranberries
makes approximately 10 1/2 cups of granola
6 cups old-fashioned oats
3 cups pecans, chopped
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apples, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Lightly oil two large jelly roll pans.
3. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the dried fruit (I find that the best way to mix the granola is with my hands).
4. Spread the granola evenly on the sheet pans and pop them in the oven.
5. Cook the granola for approximately 40 minutes until toasted and browned, using a spatula to turn the granola every 10-15 minutes.
6. When the granola is cooled, transfer to a large bowl, add the dried cranberries and apples, and mix well.