My mother’s secret pralines: turn ordinary pecans into… magic
I have the secret!
But you have to swear you won’t tell. These are my mother’s top-secret recipe, which was my grandmother’s top-secret recipe before that… which may not not really be all that secret after all.
I wish I had a great picture to show you, but believe me, these turn out looking beautiful. Every time I make them, they go so quickly that there’s no chance to take a picture.
So now, like me, you can make Pralined Pecans (or pralined almonds, as I did during Pesach) any day… or any night! Anytime, really. They are super super easy. And they always turn out well, despite my occasional neglect – crystally and nice and nostalgic.
Ready? Here goes!
Three Magical Ingredients!
- 1/2 lb whole pecans [about 2 cups] - I don't know what she means by WHOLE pecans - I use raw (unroasted, unsalted) pecan halves
- 1/4 cup water [or sherry, my mother says]
- 1/2 cup sugar
Four Magical Steps!
- Combine liquid and sugar; heat to melt sugar and until it gently boils
- Add pecans, stirring constantly until liquid becomes crystallized and coats the nuts. Use low heat because they can burn. Watch them carefully!
- Spread nuts on a tray to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Really! She typed in “enjoy.” It is an instruction. You must do it for these to succeed.
- Make them with almonds for Pesach
- Add them to pareve coffee ice cream (see below) for a delicious unexpected crunch
- Sprinkle over brownies or other desserts for extra yumminess
- Sprinkle over veggie dishes where a little sweetness is a Very Good Thing, like on top of squash kugel or mashed sweet potatoes.
Pareve Coffee “Ice Cream” (for Pesach or year-round)
What you’ll need:
- About 1 cup non-dairy whippable topping
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- Vanilla sugar, to taste (during the year, use real vanilla)
- 1 tbsp kosher l’pesach instant coffee
- ½ cup Mommy’s Pralines – pecan (see above; can use almonds instead)
How to make it:
- Whip egg whites with ½ cup or less of sugar & vanilla sugar. Set aside
- Whip topping with coffee until thick
- Stir together gently
- Add pralines, stir gently to mix
- Freeze in container until 10 minutes before serving
If you try it and love it, let me know in the Comments!
[pecan photo credit © Judy Baxter/U.S. Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia]
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