I have shared many granola recipes here on the blog over the years, but it’s been quite a while since I made a new batch. I’ve even caved and bought granola from the supermarket a few times recently …gasp! But homemade granola really is much tastier in my opinion, and with milk or yogurt, it’s truly one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast or for a snack. So I figured it was high time to get my act together and make some more.
This recipe, from Tara O’Brady’s new book Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day, is a definite keeper. It’s clumpy, nutty, sweet, and a wee bit spicy (from the ginger), and I love it. I’ve been eating it topped with all sorts of fresh berries including local strawberries, gooseberries from my garden, and black raspberries from my yard.
Though I don’t personally know Tara, I have admired her work from afar for years (feast your eyes on her cakes!!!). Her photos, both on her blog and in this cookbook, are exquisite, as her writing. So far, I have read and cooked almost exclusively from the Breads and Breakfast chapter: I look forward to making my way through more of Tara’s stories and recipes.
Recipe for Fig and Ginger Cluster Granola
Yield: approximately 8 1/2 cups
I used walnuts and cashews for the nuts, along with chia and sesame seeds. I left out the pepitas and the Candied Cacao Nibs. Be sure to not add the candied ginger and dried figs too soon, as you want them to stay soft.
*1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter
*3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
*3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*1/2 cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
*1/2 cup (120 ml water)
*1 teaspoon medium grain kosher salt
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*5 cups (455 g) old-fashioned rolled or quick-cooking oats
*1 1/2 cups (140 g) nuts, chopped if large (try an equal mix of sliced almonds, cashews and pecans)
*3/4 cup (65 g) flaked coconut, sweetened or not
*1/4 cup (35 g) raw, hulled sunflower seeds
*1/4 cup (35 g) whole or ground seeds, such as chia seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, or hemp hearts
*3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 cup (70 g) finely chopped candied ginger
*1/2 cup (70 g) raw pepitas
*1 cup (150 g) chopped dried figs
*Candied Cacao Nibs (p. 248) (optional)
1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. (160 degrees C.) with racks in the upper and lower thirds.
2. In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter into the olive oil and maple syrup. Add the brown sugar, water, amd 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the brown sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.
3. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups (180 g) of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups (275 g) whole oats, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds, and cinnamon. Pour the butter and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.
4. Line two half sheet pans or standard baking sheets with parchment paper. Using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted, 45 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from top to bottom and front to back.
5. Remove from the oven and leave the granola on the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger and pepitas. Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the figs and the cacao nibs.
6. Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O'Brady.