Apple-Cinnamon Granola, photo by Donna

Apple-Cinnamon Granola, photo by Donna

This granola smelled so good when it was baking it actually drew Donna out of bed early on a weekend morning—she’s a winter bear and not easily extracted from within the comforter.  So I had to post, even though I’ve already posted on granola.  This uses the same technique of creating a sweet fruity sauce to toss with the oats and nuts, which I love.  Instead of strawberries and banana I used crisp sweet apples (next time I’ll see how using Granny Smiths work), pureed in a blender skin and all.  By chance, as I was avoiding getting to work by poking around in favorite blogs this morning, and I came across David Lebovitz’s granola, which uses apple sauce (from a Nigella Lawson recipe); David notes that any fruit puree will work.  So, the notion is hardly new but you can’t beat the nutty apple-cinnamon warmth in a kitchen on a winter morning.  This recipe makes a boatload—I store it in 4 quart-sized deli cups in the freezer to keep it fresh—but it’s easily halved.  Granola is forgiving and infinitely variable.

Apple-Cinnamon Granola

3 Fuji apples, cut in large pieces, core discarded

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large container of regular rolled oats (about 2 1/2 pounds)

3/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup flax seed

2 cups slivered almonds

2 cup walnuts chopped but left large

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees (use convection if you have it).

Combine the apples, brown sugar, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a blender.  I use a Vita Mix which is really powerful.  If yours isn’t strong enough to get things moving you can add a little water (it will cook off eventually). Blend until the apples are thoroughly pureed.

Combine two-thirds of the oats, and the remaining ingredients in a large roasting pan.  Toss to distribute the ingredients, then pour the sauce all over the oats and nuts, stirring and tossing as you do to distribute the sauce as uniformly as possible.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake for about an hour and a half, until the granola is no longer soggy, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  You’ll know it’s getting close to being done when no steam rises while you’re stirring.  Remove it from the oven, add the remaining oats, stir again and allow it to cool before storing.

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26 Wonderful responses to “Apple-Cinnamon Granola”

  • Stephanie - Wasabimon

    This looks lovely. Question – while you mention keeping it the freezer, can I assume that’s for long-term storage? How long to you think this can be left at room temperature, say, in a sealed plastic container similar to cereal? If it’s in the fridge/freezer, we’ll forget to eat it. It will go much faster if it’s sitting on the counter, within reach.

  • bob delgrosso

    Granola?
    You aren’t going over to the dark side have you? We aren’t going to be reading about probiotics and colonic cleansing here soon. Are we? :-)

  • Tags

    My favorite granola is the kind that is held up like a metaphorical pinata and smacked gleefully without coming anywhere near my tastebuds.

  • Lucy

    Do you have any suggestions for how to roast raw nuts? I got a bag of raw almonds and would like to try something different. Thanks.

  • luis

    Nuts!…. what is this Michael?????? You want real food…. well I cooked Ouch this is hot shrimp and then I fired up my wok and seared the little creatures and then I added my prepared brown rice… and it was good!!! \specially the shrimp…. end of store… ouch too hot shrimp…slightlyy seared on the induction top…. delicious

  • michael

    stephanie, it will keep fine for a month or longer if well sealed.

    bob, eating granola makes eating deep fried pork belly an even greater pleasure.

    trish, just omit the flax seed.

    lucy, roast nuts dry at 300 till they’re done (taste them). 20 minutes. 30 minutes, just don’t burn them, leave some out on your cutting boards so you don’t forget. keep your nose alert. can also oil them for better heat transfer. add spices for spiced nuts. they also deep fry well, that’s the best.

    luis, stay on topic, please.

  • Natalie Sztern

    I long for the days when my braces come off (June i hope) and I can bite down into something hard for a breakfast …like nuts. Seriously

    (I didn’t mean that : minds that are in the gutter:)

  • Rhonda

    Chef del Grosso;

    I am kind of with you. Granola isn’t my thing.

    However, I did make some this morning. This was accompanied by yogurt and totally woke up my new Sous, “Little Marco”, who apologised for being late because he met a Gypsy last night who played the Mandolin and gave him really bad drugs.

    Yes, I know I have some work to do and when MPW was cooking he was clean. My Sous looks like him, has the talent but just not common sense.

    Michael, this is a beautiful recipe and I will try and in better circumstances.

    Thank You.

    - R

  • Rhonda

    For clarification, “Little Marco” is monikered as such because he is the spitting image of MPW in his 20′s but with a better haircut and has talent.

    He is not a derivation of me and if he doesn’t implode, I think he might be great one day.

  • Nicole

    I don’t have a scale and I buy my oats in bulk and just put them in a large bin. I have no idea how many a large container is. Could you translate how many cups or gallons a large container is? Thanks. This looks really good and I would love to give it a try for this week.

  • bob delgrosso

    Rhonda
    Little Marco sounds like a true back of the house denizen. I love stories like that and have a few of my own -for damn sure.

  • luis

    Special day today.. I received an autographed copy of LIDIA BASTIANISH “Lidia cooks from the heart of Italy”. I am sooo happy! Also her kid Joe getting in shape for the Marathon….I am so happy and so proud of these folks….
    Not because of celibrity status.. But these folks are of substance and character and deserve everything they have accomplished and more. I think my bro heard or talked with her and ..Probably heard her talk to the folks here in Miami..and this is the complete package and then some… WOW…I am in awe of America and of plain folks immigrating to America and just doing the right thing time after time after time.
    Gosh….Michael with his blog… my eyes are openned in so many ways to soo many things…. I am happy.

  • Jill Silverman Hough

    Great minds thinking alike! The SF Chronicle ran a big piece yesterday on granola, also with great recipes. Check it out here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/31/FDM91BLMGI.DTL

    Michael – I make granola regularly as well, and I often play with the sweetener, because I’ve noticed that different ones will effect the the crispness of the granola after a couple of weeks. (I’m sure this has to do with the sweetener’s willingness to attract moisture.) Anyway, I’ve never tried fruit purees – do you notice if the granola stays crisp? Or maybe keeping it in the freezer maintains crispness regardless of the sweetener? Any thoughts?

  • Stephanie

    Michael,
    I make granola frequently (can’t beat it for a quick snack that fits in a briefcase). But I have two questions:
    1) Why did you leave some of the granola unroasted?
    2) Commercial granola often has clumps, which makes picking it up to eat with your fingers a lot less messy. Mine never clumps. Got any tips?
    Love your blog and books. Keep up the amazing work!

  • ruhlman

    stephanie, i just like the bite flavor of having some of it raw. not critical part of the recipe though.

    for clumps, after the last stir try pouring in some blobs of honey, finish cooking and allow it to cool so that the honey solidifies chunks.

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