Really Good Granola

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A number of years ago, I was at my booth at Green City Market, and Jill Von Cleeve, who I knew mostly as Bill Rice (the food critic’s) wife and a massive supporter of GCM and its farmers, walked up and handed me a recipe for her Really Good Granola.  And truthfully, it is REALLY GOOD GRANOLA!  

Jill isn’t with us anymore, but she told me to feel free to share, and all these years later, I think this is a good place to do it.
1/3 to 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (optional)
1 1/2 coarsely chopped Three Sisters Garden Pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
Zest of 1 orange (navel)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. pupe maple syrup 
1/2 cup dried fruit (tart cherries, cranberries, or chopped apricots)
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Spread coconut flakes across a small baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden about 7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, brown sugar, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring until well mixed.
Combine butter and syrup in a small saucepan. Heat until butter melts and mixture is hot. Pour over oats mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Transfer to a nonstick baking sheet, spreading mixture into an even layer in pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Flip pan of granola over onto a second nonstick baking sheet. Bake another 25 minutes until deep golden brown in color. Remove pan from oven and set on wire rack to cool. When cool, break granola in to pieces in a large mixing bowl. Stir in toasted coconut and dried fruit. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature. 
Recipe by Jill Van Cleave

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