Making the Muesli
The cobnuts are ripening throughout August, and picking usually begins in September. By the end of the month, the harvest is in and it's time to get baking.
First, the cobnuts need to be de-husked and cracked. Then they are roasted in trays in the oven. The roasting fills the kitchen with a delicious, warm, nutty aroma.
Bramley apples are a local crop, known for keeping their intense flavour when cooked. I dice the Bramleys by hand and dry them in batches.
Next it is time to mix the oats, seeds and bran. These are moistened with honey and sunflower oil. The mixture is lightly baked, bringing out the flavours and giving added crunch (and making it technically a granola).
The ingredients are combined to make Gilly Jones's Cobnut and Bramley Apple Granola Muesli.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we call it 'granola muesli?
With the well-known brands of granola the product is baked into clusters. That's not what you get with mine; here, once baked, the cereal, nuts, fruit and seeds are kept separate like in a muesli. We think that it's nicer and the name granola-muesli seems to fit it well.
How do you roast cobnuts?
Set the oven at 175C. Place the nuts on a baking tray or a shallow cake tin.
Roasting time depends on the freshness or otherwise of the cobnuts. Look at them after ten minutes and give them a shake and return to the oven for another ten minutes. Thereafter just keep an eye on them until you think they are done. If they have been picked recently and are still full of moisture they will need longer than nuts which have been stored for a month or two.
To tell when they are done look at the colour. They should have turned a darker brown. It is as well to have some broken bits as you can see btter from this if they have darkened in colour. Also, do they now have that delicious roasted smell? They will be softish when you take them out of the oven but on cooling they should be crisp and crunchy. If this is not the case, put them back in the oven for a bit longer, keeping a good eye on them. After a few attempts you should have perfected the roasting technique! But remember that as the nuts age they will become even dryer and thus need shorter time in the oven.
For nibbles to go with an aperitif or glass of wine,eat them as they are or sprinkle with salt. Enjoy!