Orange Blossom Granola for Mum

My mum is not really a breakfast gal. She'll have a small amount of muesli and yoghurt maybe. Or a slice of toast with vegemite. She won't say no to a good brunch on the weekend, with eggs and a little bacon. But is she the type of person for whom breakfast is sole the reason they rise from bed? No, that's not my mum.

What she'd really love in the morning is a big slab of pate on some ciabatta, but she knows that it's not really the most wholesome of breakfasts, now is it? Rather, mum will pick a little at something and then graze throughout the day. I think this grazing strategy is what helps her to dart energetically from task to task (her energy never ceases to amaze me). During the working week mum will fuel herself on seeds and fruit almost every hour before her lunch break, where she'll invariably ordering a strong skinny latte along with a bite from one of out two favourite cafes in Mornington. It might be agnolotti or a panini with fresh ingredients. Sometimes a slice of frittata. She eats well, she's got class.

So now you know about my mother's intimate food habits (sorry mum...) I can explain my gift to her for mothers day in context. I had already bought us two tickets to a Macaron making class, which we'll go to soon - that's the main present. But in addition I wanted something crafted, something special. Something more. Mum's been particularly amazing this past year, having played a key role in our Wedding - from the planning, to making the cakes, to sourcing absolutely everything. Not to mention throwing multiple parties and being a pillar of strength and support. I'm not surprised by her brilliance, it's not out of character at all. Rather I simply want to express how much I appreciate it, how lucky I am. Because I really am.

So I designed this recipe to suit mum's tastes. Knowing she's not a real breakfast person, I worked to entice her senses and exploit her food weaknesses. I sound a little evil, don't I? Well it was kind of a mission. And I think I succeeded. The recipe uses three kinds of toasted nuts, exotic dried fruit, spice and orange blossom. Plus butter and sugar. See? It's the real deal. Supremely elegant, ballsy, beautiful, unique and energetic. Just like my mum.

Orange Blossom Granola for Mum

Adapted from Tony Tahhan's Date and Almond Granola

2 cups Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Pistachios (shelled and unsalted)
1/2 cup Almonds, roughly chopped in half
1/2 cup Pecans, roughly chopped into chunks
1/4 cup Shredded Coconut
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
A pinch of Sea Salt
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Orange Blossom Water
1 & 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Dates, chopped (dried or fresh)
1/2 cup Figs, dried but juicy

1. Preheat the oven to 150 Degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Stir.
3. In a small heavy-based saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the honey and orange blossom water and stir until smooth.
4. Add the butter mixture to the dry mixture and stir, ensuring everything is well coated and the sugar is distributed evenly.
5. Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and spread out evenly.
6. Bake in the oven for ~30 minutes until golden and toasty. Give the mixture a stir every 10 minutes.
7. Take the granola out from the oven and add the dried fruit, stirring to incorporate. Leave to cool completely.

I find this granola to be especially delicious when consumed with milk, rather than yoghurt. I feel the flavours come through best this way. But...whatever floats your boat. Mum likes to eat hers by the handful, before darting off to finish some supermum task.

Happy Mothers Day, Mum.

Heidi xo