Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Granola

Every year I've had a garden at this house, a pumpkin plant has sprouted in the corner from the compost. I let it grow out, and train it to go away from the rest of the garden because the foliage is so huge and simply takes over. This year was no different, but instead of 10 or so little cooking pumpkins, this plant produced three medium sized pumpkins. That's it. Three. Not enough to get excited over. They ripen early, and I harvest them in mid-August, which renders them useless for Halloween. Oh well.

While I'd like to say that I cooked down the pumpkin this year as I have in the past, and used it in bread and pancakes and such, these got sent to the compost. So, maybe next year.

I've really been getting into making granola since I got this recipe from the amazing Tori Ritchie of Tuesday Recipe. I met her at the BlogHer Food conference back in May, and she's a supremely talented recipe developer and writer. This particular recipe is for Maple Almond granola, but what I really like about the recipe is the technique behind it. It calls for wet ingredients folded into the dry ingredients. Previous recipes I've tried didn't do such a good job of covering the oats before drying them back out. This works.

Since it's pumpkin-time, I decided to play around with the recipe a bit and focus on the pumpkin theme. I suggest that you get new pumpkin pie spice for this recipe. I know you have an old jar in your spice cabinet. I do.

Pumpkin Granola
Adapted from Tuesday Recipe

Makes about two pounds
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
(not instant, not quick cooking)
1 cup raw slivered almonds
1 cup toasted, hulled pumpkin seeds (a.k.a. pepitas)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup real maple syrup (Grade B if you can get it; do not use pancake syrup)
1/4 cup hot tap water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or pot, combine oats and almonds (conserve the pumpkin seeds for later). In a small bowl, or two cup measure, whisk together the oil, pumpkin, maple syrup, salt, spices, and vanilla extract until blended. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until oats and almonds are completely covered. Divide mixture evenly between parchment lined pans, spreading it out. Bake on the middle and lower racks of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven to stir and re-spread the granola in each pan. Swap pan positions. Continue to bake 10 minutes more and add the pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Add these close to the end of baking so that they don't scorch. Bake for 10 minutes or so, for a total of approximately 40 minutes. Granola should be dry and golden brown.

Remove from oven and stir the pans one more time. Let the granola cool completely in the pans. Transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks, or refrigerate for a longer time.

Liquid ingredients look like a lava lamp

This is before I spread it out, but you get the idea. Parchment is necessary to keep it from burning.

It just looks like fall.

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