This homemade granola and vanilla poached pears were part of a truly inspired breakfast, eaten with wonderful people in a beautiful location.
We made this for Lynn and Chris when we visited their beautiful property in Robertson, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales (NSW being a state of Australia, for the uninitiated).
The weekend was so relaxing. Despite the cold and rain we rugged up in gumboots and drizabones and traipsed through the muddy fields, splashing through the puddles and catching yabbies from the gushing creek. In the evening it was good food, great conversation, red wine, a book or sudoku and a cosy chair by the fire. Bliss.
In return for kindly hosting us for the weekend (with sisters Stinky and Shamu and their partners M.E. and Tombolina), everyone was tasked with a meal to make and we draw the brunch card on Sunday morning. Jonas and I made cheese and chive scrambled eggs, smoky bacon and sumac fried tomatoes. Next on the menu were guava and sparkling rosé breakfast cocktails and these pots of pecan maple granola with poached pears and maple mascarpone.
The Guava & Sparkling Rosé Breakfast Cocktail is a very simple thing to make. Just top off a nice glass of sparkling rosé with fresh, pink luscious guava juice. Done.
While the poached pears and maple mascarpone were lovely, the granola was the real star.
The pecans roasted into the perfect texture, the maple gave a rich caramelised sweetness and the overall combination was elegant and delicious. A perfect breakfast on a perfect weekend.
It was so good that M.E. and I managed to sneak quite a bit of granola before we served it.
This was the first time I’ve made granola and I was surprised at just how easy it is to prepare and how much tastier homemade granola can be.
This Americana version, using pecans and maple syrup, really hit the spot for me and I’ll be making it again for sure, but I’ve been inspired to try out more granola concepts. Other flavour combinations I’ve been considering are peanut & honey; apricot, pistachio & pine nut; chocolate & orange; pumpkin & cinnamon; cherry & almond; coconut & banana; and fig & hazelnut.
Maple Pecan Granola
Anna’s version of Andrea’s recipe. Serves 6.
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup pecan pieces
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 110°C.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, pecan pieces, pumpkin seeds, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar, breaking up the sugar lumps.
3. Add the oil and maple syrup and stir until everything is well coated.
4. Spread on a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
5. Bake for up to 1 hour (or until golden brown), stirring every 10 minutes.
6. Cool completely, break into chunks and store for up to a week in an airtight container.
Note: Great with thick vanilla, honey or cinnamon yoghurt; sweetened mascarpone; poached fruit or simple milk.
Vanilla Poached Pears & Maple Mascarpone
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 6.
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla pod
6 pears, peeled, cored & quartered
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan.
2. Halve vanilla pod, scrape out seeds and add both seeds and pod to saucepan.
3. Turn heat to medium and stir, dissolving sugar.
4. Once sugar is dissolved, add pears and simmer until soft (around 10 minutes).
5. Cool pears in syrup. Refrigerate until needed, but bring to room temperature before serving.
6. Combine the maple syrup and mascarpone. Serve strained pears with mascarpone (and granola).