I’ve been experimenting with granola lately, finding ways to add a seasonal twist to the standard oats, nuts and something sweet formula. Given that it’s apple season here in Ontario, you just know I had to turn my mind to an apple granola.
Although the apple flavour is subtle, this cherished fall fruit does triple duty here. Apples serve as the sweetener, add substance and provide a crunchy twist in this granola. The main sweetening agent is apple juice that’s been reduced to a sticky syrup. A tart unsweetened applesauce adds more goodness and body, and the granola is finished with apple chips. I kept the use of spice, nuts and dried fruit to a minimum so there’d be no doubt as to who’s the star on this stage.
I’ve been enjoying this granola with my morning yogourt — it adds satisfying crunchiness and just the right touch of sweetness. And then I have an apple.
Triple Apple Granola
© Marlene Cornelis/Urban Cottage Life 2016
Pre-heat the oven to 350 ℉ and line a large baking tray with parchment or other liner sheet if desired.
- 1/4 cup apple syrup*
- 3 cups large flake oatmeal
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of kosher salt
- 100 ml unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup dried apple chips
- 1/2 cup raisins
*Start by making the apple syrup. It’s pretty easy: just pour 1 cup of apple juice into a small pot, place it over medium-high heat, uncovered, and let it bubble away until it’s reduced down to 1/4 cup. As it reduces, the syrup will get thicker. The bubbles will be bigger and lazier and the colour will deepen. Try not to let it get too dark; as in making caramel you can take it too far and the flavour can take on a burnt edge.
Stir together the oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add the apple syrup, applesauce and honey, then toss with a spatula until the oats and nuts seem evenly coated. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking tray, and toast in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes, stirring at 10-minute intervals.
I found this granola browned faster than other recipes I’ve tried, so I recommend transferring it into a large bowl as soon as you remove it from the oven so it won’t be subjected to residual heat on the baking tray. Add the apple chips and raisins and toss thoroughly. Let the granola cool completely, stirring a couple of times, before storing in a mason jar.
This batch yielded enough to fill a 1-litre mason jar with a little left over (baker’s treat!).