Last August, we drove up to the Isle of Mull. It was my first time on the island, and I was blown away by the rugged scenery, and the spectacular cliffs and beaches. We were blessed with three days of scorching sunshine and blue skies, and a few atmospheric rainy days with dark scudding clouds, nonetheless as beautiful. Searching out local ingredients and cooking in our cottage was half the fun. I wrote this recipe so that I could use Scottish porridge oats, and accompanied it with a Scottish raspberry coulis. We ate the granola on the terrace in the sunshine, with thick, rich Greek yoghurt. Having some raspberries leftover, I turned these into a cranachan – a delicious pudding with whipped cream, oats, whiskey and honey. My brother, Joe, was absolutely horrified to discover I’d slugged rather a generous glug of a good Glenmorangie into the dessert (apparently I was supposed to stick to the cheap stuff for cooking, but I liked the smell of that one). Even those who had professed not to like granola were instantly won over by the smell of oats lightly toasted in maple syrup and butter filling the kitchen, which is an all-round crowd pleaser. You can store this granola in airtight Kilner jars and it will keep for a week or so in a cool, dry place.
Preheat your oven to 150°C/ gas 2 and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
Dry-toast the nuts in a saucepan over a medium heat until they start to lightly colour, but not blacken or burn. Remove from the pan, and chop them into coarse chunks.
Place the butter and maple syrup in a large saucepan and combine over a low heat. Add the oats, nuts, and a small pinch of salt and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture evenly out over the baking tray.
Cook for 25-30 minutes or so until golden, turning it over halfway through to ensure even toasting. Check on it after the first 10 minutes to make sure it is not browning too quickly. Leave it to cool on the tray, where it will harden further.
Drizzle your coulis or toppings of fresh fruit over the bowls of yoghurt and sprinkle generously with granola, then serve immediately.
Mash all the ingredients together in a bowl with a fork, whisking it so that it becomes quite liquid but retains a few whole raspberries for texture. You can do this in a blender too, which will make for a much smoother coulis.