In a departure from pretty much all of our norms, we went to Las Vegas this past weekend to celebrate a friend’s big birthday because… why not? Possibly needless to say, my opportunities these days to take long plane rides with no kids, lounge by pools long enough to finish books, uninterrupted even, and spend exactly zero minutes searching for or scrubbing sippy cup parts are scarce and when graced with a chance to do all of the above at once, it took half a second to book our tickets. Also needless to say, I could now use more sleep, less gin, and to reintroduce my system to fresh fruits and vegetables. This probably means we did it correctly.
I’m glad I did at least one semi-wholesome before I left, which was to make a big satisfying sheet of granola in the format of breakable “bark.” This comes from the new cookbook, Tartine All Day from Elisabeth Prueitt, half of the duo behind the famed bakery in San Francisco. To say I have been excited about this book would be the understatement of the season. Ever since I discovered Prueitt’s Instagram last year, where she shared the bits and pieces (with recipes!) of what she was fine-tuning for this book, I had a running list in my head of recipes I couldn’t wait to get to, and some I couldn’t even wait that long for. Also in this book, an apple beehive* that will torture me until good apples are back in season in New York; a 5-day sauerkraut, cider caramel ribs, and crispy waffles** also made the shortlist, but I’m glad I got to this first because it’s been way too long since we had a new granola recipe here and this one ticks all the boxes: not too sweet, good crisp, but not tooth-breaking crunch, and if you’re in it for the big chunks, you know, the ones you fish out of the jar first (of course you do), you’re in for a treat because this is basically all-cluster granola.
* I really want to try a savory version with potatoes. I mean, it’s been a whole two weeks since my last major cooking flop so why not, right?
** Incidentally, the book is also gluten-free but something I enjoyed about it is that you can flip through and barely notice it; it’s not the focus of the book, simple a fact because Prueitt tends to a gluten intolerance. Wheat-based recipes are the inspiration and reference point; this is more apparent in the baking recipes, of course.
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup, honey or half of each
- 1/2 cup (75 grams) coconut or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (but I skipped this)
- 3 cups (300 grams) rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) almonds, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups (60 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) flax seeds or chia seeds, whole or ground
- 1/4 cup (35 grams) sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) almond or hazelnut flour
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive, vegetable or coconut oil, or melted butter
- 1 large egg white, whisked until frothy
Combine maple syrup, sugar, water, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile combine cinnamon (if using), oats, almonds, coconut, seeds, almond or hazelnut flour in a large bowl.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed half-sheet (13×18-inch) pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Once liquid mixture is back to room temperature, whisk in olive oil, which will cool it further, then egg white. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread mixture evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Press down firmly to compact it before baking, using another same-size baking sheet or the bottom of a pot. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until dark golden brown, rotating the sheet every 15 minutes to promote even browning. While it bakes, open the oven door a few times to release steam.
Set on a cooling rack until surface of granola is crisp. Leave oven on. If surface is still tacky to the touch once it has cooled — although I didn’t find this at all — return the pan to the oven and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. Don’t let it get too dark or it tastes bitter.
Once totally cool, break into pieces in store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in the fridge up to 1 month.