Maple Pecan Granola

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    8 cups

Appears in

Good to the Grain

By Kim Boyce

Published 2010

  • About

Granola is something I eat with my fingers as a snack rather than for breakfast with milk poured on top. Filled with chewy dried blueberries, shreds of coconut, and toasty pecans, this granola I grab by the handful. When working with maple syrup, the challenge is capturing its wonderful flavor without the granola becoming overly sweet. Boiling down the maple syrup does just the trick. The reduced syrup is more intensely flavored and it coats the barley flakes better, giving this granola its shine.

Any rolled flakes that you have on hand will work here—either the familiar rolled oats, or the rolled versions of other whole grains such as spelt, rye, or barley, my favorite, which are now frequently stocked in cereal or baking aisles.

Butter for the baking sheets or roasting pan

Ingredients

Dry Mix

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 3 cups barley flakes
  • 2 cups natural unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup wheat bran

Syrup

  • 1 cup good-quality maple syrup, preferably organic
  • 2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Finish

  • cups dried blueberries

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and toast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasty and light golden-brown. (Remember that they will color more in the oven when the granola bakes.)
  2. Butter two rimmed baking sheets or a large roasting pan.
  3. Measure the barley flakes, coconut, wheat bran, and toasted pecans into a large bowl and toss them together with your hands. Squeeze half the pecans to break them down into pieces.
  4. To make the syrup, measure the maple syrup into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepot. Place it over a medium-high flame for about 7 minutes and reduce the syrup to about ¾ cup. It’s fine if it is slightly more than ¾ cup, but do not let it go below that amount or the granola will lose its gloss. After measuring, pour the reduced syrup back into the pot and add the butter and salt. Swirl the syrup until the butter melts.
  5. As soon as the syrup is done, immediately pour it over the barley mixture, making sure to use a spatula to scrape every last bit out. Use the spatula to coat every flake with syrup. This means going over and over, tossing and scraping the flakes together. Scrape the granola evenly over the prepared baking sheets or roasting pan, spreading it evenly in a single, clumpy layer on each surface.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven, close the oven door to retain the heat, and scrape the outer edges of the granola toward the center and the center out to the edges. Work gently to maintain the crunchy clumps. Put the top sheet on the bottom rack and the bottom sheet on the top rack to ensure even baking, and repeat the baking and scraping a second and third time, for a total of 30 minutes. I prefer my granola on the darker end of the spectrum; if you don’t, you might want to take the granola out after 5 to 6 minutes of the last bake.
  7. Take the baking sheets out of the oven and allow the granola to cool thoroughly on the sheets; this allows clumps to form. Once the granola has cooled, sprinkle in the dried blueberries. The granola will keep, stored in an airtight container, for at least 1 week.