Diana Santospago, owner of The Inn at Isle au Haut, charmed me with her edibles the first time I met her at a dinner party hosted by Linda Greenlaw.
A lovely woman with great character Diana arrived on the small Maine island a member of a rock band and stayed to marry a local fisherman. She thinks she runs an inn, but her guests all know she really runs the base of an island playground where the everyday is more about discovering nature and the pleasure of taking in a breath of fresh island air.
As a guest of the inn my day often begins with a delicious homemade breakfast followed by a day on the trails. After a bike ride to the nearest Acadia National Park trailhead I’ll make my way through the woods and along the shoreline to climb Duck Harbor Mountain. The view from the summit of Penobscot Bay and surrounding islands is exceptional.
One of the best gifts Diana has given me is her granola recipe. I’ve been doing my best to replicate it since my first stay. I enjoy it with goat milk yogurt.
Homemade Inn at Isle au Haut Granola
Heat oven to 325.
6c old-fashioned rolled oats
1c crushed pecans
1c crushed walnuts
1/2c hulled pumpkin seeds (I only include these in October/November)
1/2c hulled sunflower seeds
1t coarse salt
8T (1 stick) unsalted butter (I prefer Kate’s Butter)
2/3 c honey (THE best is by Day Break Manor available @ Treats in Wiscasset, ME)
1t pure vanilla extract
1c dried cranberries
(Diana notes if you like it really fruity, add 1c dried apple pieces. I add 1c dried apricots.)
In a large bowl stir together oats, pecans, walnuts, seeds, cinnamon & salt. In a saucepan melt butter & honey together over low heat. Stir in vanilla & pour over oat & nut mixture. Toss to combine. Spread the granola out on two large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, stirring every few minutes until lightly brown & crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Be careful not to overbake. The granola will get crispier as it cools. Cool the granola and stir in fruit.
Diana and I keep our granola in a gallon glass jar tightly covered. It looks pretty and stays fresh.