Here in the South, we’re blessed with wonderful goodness like fresh veggies, fruits (oh the peaches in summertime!) and nuts! Lots of Nuts. We have acres and acres allotted to pecan groves when the property isn’t relegated to peaches, so its only natural (to me at least) that the favorite ingredient in Southern desserts comes down to pecans!
We always seemed to have plenty of nuts of all kinds available during the fall and winter. Daddy was forever coming home from the farmers market with big white bags holding all sorts of nuts that weren’t grown locally. I developed, at an early age a love of things like hazelnuts, black walnuts, hickory nuts and more. Granny would always have fresh pecans in abundance for all of her baking and cookie making. And she always cracked a few just for us kids to taste. Occassionally, she’d crack a pound or so and clean them well then toast them ever so lightly in a little melted butter. What a treat, warm from the oven!
My Aunt Betty, famous for all of her desserts and goodies during the holidays, would make wonderful glazed pecans crusted with egg whites and sugar. So this recipe for Orange Candied Pecans came into being as a bit of a departure from our family traditions but one that is loved dearly by all to this day. As with all Southern recipes the list of ingredients is simple and straight forward. You’ll notice most Southern recipes have short lists of ingredients, and the shorter the list the higher the quality of ingredients must be used. Pecans are the star here, but use the finest organic ingredients you can find. This recipe is splendidly simple, and just perfect for holiday parties and snacks!
- 2½ cups brown sugar
- 1 scant cup milk
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
- 2 lb. Diamond Pecan Halves, shelled
- Rind of 1 orange, grated
- Place Pecan halves into large mixing bowl.
- Mix lightly with orange rind.
- Cook sugar, milk and vinegar at medium heat until syrup forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. (watch and stir carefully 15-20 minutes is my experience)
- Remove from heat and pour over pecans and rind.
- Beat the mixture until it begins to sugar(crystallize) and quickly pour on waxed paper lined cookie sheet spreading out carefully (mixture is HOT).
- Separate nuts with two forks when candy has cooled.
Candy making is affected by the weather. It is impossible to make good hard candies in a moist, hot atmosphere. They become sticky, then sugary. So make these on a cool, dry day.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, bring to room temp before serving.
100 years of holiday traditions you just don’t mess with.
Classic family recipes call for a classic ingredient. Diamond of California nuts.
The only nut good enough for your mom’s mom’s recipes is the only one that should be in yours.
Diamond of California. Premium quality nuts since 1912.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Diamond of California via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Diamond of California