pumpkin butter + pepita granola

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Pumpkin Butter
Adapted from AllRecipes

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Juice of half a lemon

Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

To preserve: Whoops! It turns out, pumpkin butter is not safe to can. Into the fridge or freezer it goes! Confused? Read more here.

Adapted from Calle Ocho, New York City

In the couple years I have been making my own granola, I have learned a few things that I hope will help you too. The first is that I think most recipes have too much oil, and that gets in the way of clumping. I am updating the recipe to include less of it. The second is that it burns very quickly, so just because I can get away with 30 minutes baking time in my oven doesn’t mean that it won’t over-toast in 20 in yours. I’d suggest you check it every five minutes after the 15 minute mark. Finally, and this is the hardest-learned advice I can give: keep it in the freezer. Granola, even in an airtight container, actually especially in an airtight container, gets soft after a couple days. In the freezer, it stays crisp and crunchy indefinitely, and also extends the shelf life to months.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds (1 oz)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds, sometimes called pepitas (1 1/2 oz; not roasted)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch salt (flaky sea salt is wonderful in here)

1 cup tart dried cherries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried pears (1/4 inch dice)
1/2 cup diced dried apricots (1/4 inch dice)
1/3 cup golden raisins
— or —
2 3/4 cups mixed dried fruit of your choice (I used pears, figs and tart cherries)

Accompaniment: Sliced bananas; plain yogurt flavored with vanilla extract, pumpkin or apple butter

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl until combined. Spread mixture evenly on a large (17-by 12-inch) shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, but checking every five minutes after the 15-minute mark because it burns quickly. Transfer granola, in pan, to rack to cool stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Stir in dried fruit.

Granola keeps, frozen (the fruit’s moisture softens granola if not kept frozen) in an airtight container, a few months.

pumpkin butter + pepita granola was originally published on smittenkitchen.com

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