This is a brilliant oat granola, not too sweet and perfectly crisp. The joy, of course, is adapting the recipe according to whatever leftover packets of seeds, nuts and dried fruit you have in your cupboards, though this combination is particularly good and makes enough for at least 15 portions. It stores well at room temperature in an airtight container.
INGREDIENTS – Makes about 1.5 kg
100 g (31/2 oz/generous 3/4 cup) flame or jumbo raisins
50 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) whole skin-on almonds, roughly chopped
50 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
50 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) pecans, roughly chopped
250 g (9 oz/21/2 cups) jumbo oats
25 g (3/4 oz/scant 1/4 cup) pumpkin seeds
25 g (3/4 oz/3 tablespoons) chia seeds
4 tablespoons coconut oil
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
50 g (2 oz/1 cup) coconut flakes
To serve (per person)
1 nectarine, peach or apricot,halved and stoned
1 teaspoon melted unsalted butter
150 g (5 oz) Greek or natural yoghurt
a few edible flowers (optional)
Preheat a fan oven to 150˚C (300˚F/gas 3) and line a large baking tray (pan) with baking parchment. Soak the raisins in a bowl of just-boiled water while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl combine the chopped nuts, oats and seeds. Put the coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and water in a small saucepan and heat until it comes to a simmer. Drain the raisins and tip them into the saucepan, then pour everything over the nuts, oat and seeds mixture. Sprinkle in the salt and mix together well.
Spread the granola mixture out over the parchment, making it a little thinner in the middle and piling it up more at the edges, as that’s where it will brown more quickly. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir well and continue to cook, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes until golden and fragrant (35–45 minutes in total, depending on how golden you like it). Stir the coconut flakes into the mixture for the final 5–10 minutes. Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
When ready to serve, heat a griddle pan or a barbecue over a medium-high heat. Brush the cut sides of the fruit with melted butter, place them cut-side down on the griddle, and cook for 2 minutes until lightly charred. Spoon the yoghurt into bowls, top with a hefty sprinkling of granola and the fruit. Some edible flowers look rather pretty, too.
Extracted from California: Living + Eating by Eleanor Maidment (Hardie Grant, £22)