A general rule with granola is you want to keep wet ingredients to between a cup, cup-and-a-half per 10 cups of dry ingredients, the bulk of which will be rolled oats.
Here we push the wet a bit further, so a bit more baking time if you prefer your granola crunchier will be in order — and you will find humidity has a great deal of effect on the outcome as well, so use your instincts and your fingertips and teeth to guide you, ultimately.
The things we add in here will come in stages: there are some things that go into the mix in the beginning and bake off the entire time. Others, such as raisins, will get too dry or too burnt if added at the outset, so we put those in toward the end.
Another style choice that’s purely up to you, is chunky versus finer-grain. I prefer my granola bits about the size of popcorn in a sweet recipe (you’ll find this much more difficult without a sugary binder in the savory recipes) so I lay it in the baking pans and leave it alone until the last “check-in” when I add the final mix-ins and then finally toss it around a bit. This also lets the wetter parts get more exposed and dry more evenly.
This is one of those baked items for which there is no exact science to share, so just stay on your toes (good for the ass muscles, as well) and allow your own brains and tastes to arbitrate.
PREPARE THE WET INGREDIENTS:
1 Quart orange juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Cups sugar
2 Large eggs
2 Tbsp. corn starch
Mix the fruit juices (reserving 1/4 Cup of orange juice) and powdered sugar in a saucepan, and boil to reduce liquid to about half (20 minutes). Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 Cup of juice with the eggs and cornstarch, beating to combine thoroughly with a fork or whisk.
Pour about 1/4 cup of the boiled juice mixture into the egg mixture in a steady stream as you continue to whisk; this will keep the eggs from scrambling when you add the mixture to the heated liquid. Now add the tempered egg mixture to the saucepan, return to medium-high heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat.
PREPARE THE DRY INGREDIENTS:
10 Cups dry oatmeal, old fashioned or quick
1 Cup sunflower seeds
1 Cup chopped walnuts
5 Cups Rice Krispies cereal
3 Large bananas, mashed
1 Cup raisins
1 Slice (5-6 oz.) pound cake, crumbled
1 Cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
Preheat oven to 300°.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, seeds, nuts, and 3 cups of the rice cereal. Add mashed banana and toss together. Finally, pour cooled orange juice and egg mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to coat thoroughly.
Grease two roasting pans or baking sheets (or line with parchment paper) and transfer granola mix in two equal portions, spreading evenly by hand.
Bake for 1 hour, alternating top and bottom rack pans half way through. After an hour, remove the granolas and transfer back into clean, large mixing bowl. Add remaining 2 cups of rice cereal, raisins, and crumbled pound cake and toss to incorporate. Transfer back to pans, reduce heat to 250°, and bake an additional hour, checking every 20 minutes to insure the granola is cooking evenly. If it’s darkening and drying unevenly especially around the edges, toss quickly to redistribute and return to the oven.
Once done to your desired crispness (granola will dry further slightly as it cools) remove from oven. Toss in mixing bowl once again with powdered sugar, and transfer to sheets of wax paper on a flat open surface to cool, tossing occasionally.
Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container for storage. This is a nice “display piece” so I always keep my fresh granolas in glass canisters with labels noting their varieties.
You can enjoy this granola as a finger-food snack, or as a cold cereal with milk or yogurt and, if you like, additional fruit or brown sugar.