Would you like the recipe?
First, find a coupon for Bed, Bath, and Beyond and go buy one of these babies…a GOOD candy thermometer (jelly and fried foods, too). I like this one because it has a clip on the back for large pots, but if your liquid is shallow, like mine was, the mercury does not touch the bottom of the pot. It has two little metal legs/extensions that keep it above the bottom. I just kept it in place by putting my spoon at the bottom when I wanted to test the temp. It will cost you less than $20 with the coupon.
Second, order up a cold, crisp day with low to no humidity. This is crucial. And don’t have it all hot and humid in your house, either!
- 1 1/2 Cups evaporated milk
- 3 Cups sugar
- 1 1/2 Cups Louisiana pecans or fresh from another state, in pieces
- 1 Stick butter or margarine cut into chunks
- 1/2 t . Vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Waxed or parchment paper
- In heavy saucepan, pour milk, sugar, and salt.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring often (do not scorch) until boiling.
- Boil on medium, stirring, until temperature on candy thermometer reaches 235, which is "soft-ball stage".
- To test for soft-ball stage, get a glass measuring cup with very cold water in it. Drop a bit of candy into the cup, and reach into the cup with your finger and push the candy around into a ball. If it shapes and stays, then it's ready. If not, cook a little more keeping a close eye on the temperature. DO NOT PASS 235, or they will not be the right texture and consistency.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, using a hot pad on counter AND pan, quickly add butter, vanilla, and pecans.
- Beat with a spoon until butter is melted and mixture thickens.
- The thickness you want is where it spreads into a circle on the paper but almost has to be pushed off the spoon. (Do NOT use a metal pan or they will not set properly)
- Spoon onto paper into two-inch patties.
- Let the patties cool completely before storing in airtight container in cool place.
In the past, I’ve integrated the instructions with the photos, but some of you wanted the recipe all in one place). So, since it’s the holidays, I thought I would make it easy for you.
For those of you who liked it better the other way, here you go . . .
Do not use a food processor for your pecans, as they will be like meal and make the patty mushy. I pulse half of them in the processor, and then break the other half into big pieces with my fingers. Works fine.
Here, the mixture is boiling on medium, as it should, and slowly reaching the 235 degree mark. This is a slow process, which you do not want to speed up because you will scorch the mixture, and then you’ll have to throw it out. It’s time to test for soft-ball stage in a cup of cold water.
And there you have my version of what my Bayou Mother-in-Law calls “pecan candy” and New Orleans calls “pecan pralines”. I decided, that I would tweak recipes, make it my own, and call it “Pecan Pattie”.
So, happy holidays everyone. If you’re looking for a nice gift that won’t break the bank, make up a batch of these and give each person a dozen. There you have it . . . . four people checked off the holiday gift list–(teachers love them!).
Getting in the holiday spirit,
Originally posted in December, 2010