Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Granola

There is a very sweet blog called Cooking with My Kid that I find such fun to read. In the doing I spotted a pumpkin recipe that I wanted to try. This week I've been all about pumpkin recipes that aren't quite the norm, and here is another, for pumpkin pie granola. It looked easy, and I pretty much had everything in the pantry that I needed in order to make it, so figured, why not? If I make it tonight, breakfast is in the bag for tomorrow morning. The only ingredient I was lacking was pepitas, so I thought I'd pick them up on my way to get a flu shot.  

So, I saw a bag of pumpkin seeds at Walgreen's and bought them. Pumpkin seeds are pepitas, right? That's what the nut vendor on the pier in Virginia Beach told me back in 2000 when he sold me a bag. Well, he lied! They're not! In fact they are nothing at all like pepitas. What they are like is little bits of tree bark -- same flavor, same texture. And if you think I don't know whereof I speak, you're wrong. Back in my college days when I was a geology major I did an entire semester on wild foods - locating, harvesting, turning them into foods to sustain people for weekends at a time. I learned to make tea from sassafras root (this was before, of course, we knew it had hallucinogenic properties), chewed the bark (there, what did I tell you?), and ground thrice boiled acorns into flour to make bread. But this is a topic for later. My point is, I bought the wrong thing.

Not to worry, I am nothing if not the queen of substitution when it comes to cooking and baking, so I made the recipe using pistachios instead. It was good! In fact, as we were watching the rather frantic end of tonight's playoff game between the Phillies and Giants we downed it in large quantities in much the same way you'd gobble popcorn during a horror film.

As good as it was, however, it still wasn't as good as the recipe for fruit and nut granola that I created some time ago. So, since my plan is to give beautifully packaged and labeled cellophane bags of pumpkin pie granola to each guest at the Thanksgiving table (and if you’re one of my guests and reading this...SURPRISE!), I'm going to make some changes to my own recipe and create a new version featuring pumpkin. My thanks, though, to Cooking With my Kid for the great idea.

Here is my original recipe, with planned changes


4 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole almonds, halved
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar or less to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup (packed) pitted dates, each cut crosswise into thirds
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut in quarters
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries

Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix first 8 7 ingredients in large bowl. Melt butter with honey in heavy small saucepan over low heat, stir in pumpkin. Pour over granola mixture and toss well. Spread out mixture on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add dried fruits cranberries; mix to separate any clumps. Continue to bake until granola is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes longer. Cool. Do ahead Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

I'm sure it will be delicious!
Leaf dish - gift
Mug - Starbucks


Dee said...

Mmm, yumminess! I may have to make some of this soon for my family. Pepitas are pumpkin/calabaza seeds however they are shelled. So glad you substituted pistachios though. They are a favorite, how perfectly wonderful this granola sounds. Bookmarking it:)

Pattie T. said...

Pistachios are always good, I think. In fact, I could have used a few more as I tend to like granola on the nutty side.