October 29, 2010

... Pepita Granola

Have I mentioned my love for granola?  I've bought it more often than I've made it, but when I made it here and it was really tasty... and easy... and probably so much better for me than the store-bought stuff. 

When I came across this recipe on one of my go-to blogs, I couldn't wait to make it.  It seemed so Fall-ish with its pumpkin seeds, nuts and spices... it was just what I was looking for.

And when it's paired with pumpkin butter and plain yogurt, it's perfection on a crisp Fall morning.

Pepita Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds, sometimes called pepitas (not roasted)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
pinch cinnamon
pinch salt

1 cup tart dried cherries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried pears (1/4 inch dice)
1/2 cup diced dried apricots (1/4 inch dice)
1/3 cup golden raisins


2 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit of your choice

Accompaniment: plain yogurt flavored with vanilla extract, pumpkin butter, or apple butter.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Stir together all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl until combined.  Spread mixture evenly on a large (17x12) shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, but checking every five minutes after the 15-minute mark because it burns quickly.  Transfer granola, in pan, to rack to cool stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Stir in dried fruit.

Granola keeps frozen (the fruit's moisture softens granola if not kept frozen) in an airtight container, for a few months.

Taylor's Notes:

Ok, she's really not kidding about how quickly granola can burn.  I baked mine just like she said, for 15 minutes, stir, and then check every 5 minutes.  I took it out after 20 minutes... total.  And when I do it over again, I'll probably take it out at 17 1/2 minutes.  It burns quickest at the edges, so be sure to pay close attention to those areas when stirring.

As far as fruit, I used 1 cup of dried figs, halved, 1 cup of dried sweetened blueberries, and 3/4 cup of dried tart cherries.  I'm still on the hunt for dried pears... yum.


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