Jacqueline Soule here today with a flavorful treat for the holidays – or anytime.
We harvested and shelled the new crop of pecans, I went to tuck them away and found a jar from 2017. While not “bad” exactly, they were no where near as flavorful and succulent as the 2018 crop. Like all foods, over time flavor is lost. Some people say this is because the life force (chi) is going out of the product. If you purchase your nuts in the store, they warn you about this, and recommend refrigeration.
So what to do with these older pecans? My holiday favorite – spiced pecans. The recipe came to me from a fellow Horticulture Therapy docent at Tucson Botanical Garden, Lucy Weber. They are incredibly easy to make, and way too easy to eat! I make them in the microwave.
2 cups nuts
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chili powder (your choice of how hot a variety to use)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of clove powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1) Melt the butter in a broad, flat microwave dish, like a glass pie plate.
2) Add the nuts and stir to coat well with butter.
3) Sprinkle on the chili powder, cinnamon, and pinch of clove, and stir to coat all nuts evenly.
4) Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove, stir. Repeat once. What you are doing here is toasting the nuts. Depending on your microwave, and your nuts, 2 minutes might be enough, but you might need 2 and ½ minutes, or even 3. Keep your nose tuned, and if you smell scorching, stop! Tip them out of that hot dish ASAP to cool them quickly and stop the cooking.
5) When you remove the nuts from the microwave, sprinkle with white sugar and coarse salt and stir in.
6) Cool before storing.
Use our “search” bar to find other ways of using pecans, like Amy’s Mole Pecan Crackers and Goat Cheese!
Visit my gardening website to learn how to grow pecans, or look for my free lectures at your local Pima County Library branch, Tubac Presidio, Tucson Festival of Books and other venues. After each event I will sell and sign copies of my books, including Southwest Fruit and Vegetable Gardening (Cool Springs Press, $23), a book that includes pecan varieties for our area. Note: the book link is an Amazon affiliate link and will take you there. We will get a few pennies for your purchase.
© Article copyright by Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. Republishing an entire blog post or article is prohibited without permission. I receive many requests to reprint my work. My policy is that you may use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Photos © Jacqueline A. Soule and they may not be used.