Satsuma Pecans

If you’re new here and not from south Louisiana, you might not have heard of the fabulous Satsuma, so be sure and buff up on the topic so we might all be on the same page.

Locally, the Satsumas are still on the tree and nearing the time that they will be over-ripe.  I took a drive up the road to the Landry Garden, whom I’ve written about before, in order to pick Satsumas before it’s too late.  In their eighties now, the Landrys are still spry as ever, full of energy, and such an upbeat couple.  Again this year, their trees are laden with the sweet orange fruits; so much so that the branches are touching the ground.

We picked an entire bushel basket full and didn’t put a dent in the fruit that remains on their three or four trees.  I wish I had more ways to cook and/or store them, plus the time to do all the processing.  The Landrys juice the fruits and freeze the juice; and having enjoyed some of that refreshing juice from their stock, I can truly say, it is divine!

So, today, I adapted another recipe from Mary Land’s Louisiana Cookery–Orange Pecans, and tweaked it into Satsuma Pecans, using satsumas from the Landrys and pecans from Camp Dularge. The hardest part of this recipe is stirring the pot while the mixture reaches soft-ball stage without the liquid scorching.  The second hardest part is spreading the pecan mixture before it starts to harden.

If you don’t have Satsumas, sou can go use one cup of orange juice and orange peel, which is what the original recipe calls for.  In order to render a cup of peel and a cup of juice, I grated the 5 Satsumas on a flat hand grater first, removed the peeling, and then liquified the Satsuma sections using a little Bullet blender. 

Now, time for a confession.  I know how to make pralines, and I know it needs to be a cold, crisp day, but the weather here is humid and 72.  I thought lowering the thermostat and getting it really chilly in the house would help.  Second confession:  Mary Land only said to “cook to candy”.  No temp on the candy thermometer, no hard-ball or soft-ball stage.  So, I boiled the syrup to a sustained 240 degrees, which is right between soft-and-hard-ball stages.  I’m not sure if that’s correct, because her final instruction is to “crack pecans apart after cooling”.  Well, they’re not cracking!

Oh, and did I mention that I now know why she states to spread the mixture on a “GREASED” sheet?  Well, my third confession, is that I took the lazy way out and used waxed paper.  Big mistake.  While they are delicious, they are very sticky, and the candy part doesn’t “crack” at all.  It sort of pulls apart like taffy.  In my own defense, let me say that my Pecan Pattie recipe always hardens and it should and comes easily off the waxes paper.  

I don’to have time today to try this recipe over or do some research to see what went wrong. Maybe one of you can tell me what stage I should have cooked the syrup to in order for the pecans to crack apart?

Don’t worry, we will eat them, even if we have to peel the paper off!  Hey, I told you I would post tried and true recipes.  Well, this one is tried, it tastes wonderful, but I’m just not so sure about the true part.  

So if any of you are brave enough to try it, PLEASE let me know if you had more success with the final consistency than I did and tell us how you achieved it!


Satsuma Pecans

Wonderful Christmas candy using Louisiana citrus and pecans.

  • 5-6 small Satsumas*
  • 1 Cup Satsuma peel (grated)
  • 1 Cup Satsuma Juice
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups pecan halves
  1. Grate outer peel of Satsumas and set aside
  2. Liquefy fruit sections using high speed blender, measure 1 Cup, set aside

In large sauce pan combine

  1. Satsuma juice, peel, and sugar
  2. Using candy thermometer, cook over medium temp. until about 230 degrees, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. This may take up to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in pecans and spread immediately on greased sheet.
  4. Once cooled, break apart the pecans and store in air-tight container.
*You may use orange juice and peel instead

Now, on to Satsuma Cordial!


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  1. I am waiting for a dry day to do some baking/candy making too. It was so foggy here this am that my husband said he went right by his exit and never saw it. He only knew he had passed it by an overhead street sign that is about 1/2 mile past the exit.

    I bet you enjoy the pecans but, I’ll pass on this one. I don’t know why but, the smell of oranges makes me very ill and the thought of eating one or tasting orange flavor doesn’t agree with me. I’ve been like this as long as I can remember too. But, give me a red grapefruit and I am in heaven!! I only get one about twice a year due to meds. 🙁

  2. Oh, I dug out my Louisiana Cooking cookbook and it is from 1953 and has several authors. Pecans are featured in several of the dessert recipes too. (And I picked up 2 bottles of file’ this weekend) I am ready for cold weather!!!

  3. Merry Christmas to you and your whole family

    We have snow today. Very Christmasy. I do miss the Louisiana Satsumas and pecans. something about going out and picking your own.

    I hope you have a great holiday and a wonderful new year.

    Hugs from oregon

  4. STILL have satsumas coming out of the wazoo!
    That said… for your readers who may be unaware, a satsuma is the same thing as a mandarin. I’m pretty sure they are called Cuties in the grocery store.
    I saw shelled pecans advertised for $9.99 lb today. Be very happy you have a tree, BW!

    1. Glad you also had a bumper crop this year! I’m trying lots of different things with this bushel basket of goodness! Merry Christmas, Steffi!

  5. Oh, I want to make candy so badly. But we’ve had the same issue — foggy and warm, and just too danged humid. I could press my luck, but I’ve done that before and I know what happens.

    Still, this recipe looks wonderful. I love orange and I love pecans, so it would be worth a try. Maybe we’ll get a blue norther, and the humidity will drop to 30%. I’ll keep my candy thermometer handy, just in case.

    by the way — your RSS feed is back to working as it should. If your guru fixed it, yea, him! If it “just happened,” we’ll thank the cyber gods!

    1. I guess my guru fixed it! I don’t really know! It’s dropping here today, but I’m not attempting this recipe again. I’m trying not to be sick over a waste of two cups of pecans that we picked up, shelled, cleaned, and vacuum sealed. Well worth the effort, at $10 a pound, as Steffi points out! Golden pecans! Merry Christmas to you and Dixie, is it?

    2. Aye, had to threaten it at Cutlass point, but seems to be OK now.

      Have some pecans for me…while I dream o’ Louisiana weather (we had 50mph snow squalls last night AND a 3 hour power outage…and this is supposed to be the ‘warm’ region!)

  6. It doesn’t look like I’ll be making candy anytime soon here. The windows and doors are dripping with condensation!! My poor dehumidifier is threatening to pack his little cord and leave! 🙂

    We are supposed to have tomorrow and Saturday in the 70s and then the temp will drop 50 degrees down to 23 Sunday with wind chill from 5 degrees to -15 degrees and possible snow flurries. I think I will sit this one out with the heater blasting. I worry about family though. My son will be on call since he is with the county and there are a lot of old trees that fall and my son in law is with the power company and gets called when one falls on the lines.

    1. Hopefully, he or they won’t get called. You just stay warm and snug! The cold is coming here, too, but probably not as cold as where you are.

      1. It was downright cold here last night and today. My daughter just got moved into her new mobile home but, still had boxes of photos, pictures, etc. in old one. The wind was so vicious it took the roof off of the older house on one end where she would have been sleeping normally. Nothing but rafters left!

        1. Oh my gosh, Cammy. Thank the good Lord she had moved and was not harmed! Y’all have a great holiday season, ya hear?

    1. You are most welcome, Margie, and thanks for being a faithful reader. I hope you make something yummy with those pecans that I picked up and hand cleaned and sealed for you!!!

  7. Does the holiday cooking ever stop??? My feet are not happy with me. I toasted 5 cups of pecans yesterday to make the pecan pie balls, baked 2 dozen sugar cookies, 3 dozen pumpkin cookies & made a HUGE pan of tiger butter.

    Today, I went to see mom and took her some goodies and some new, fleece lined leggings to help her stay warm and paid/made arrangements to have her hair done next week. That was her Christmas presents from us. She is going to look cute dancing down the hall with her cane wearing leggings covered with printed Christmas lights! 🙂 She loved them.

    We came home and I started cooking again. Got 5 dozen peppers ready to stuff and broil and an eye that is a bit heated from the juice one squired out. I rolled all the pecan balls (70 of them) and they are in freezer to be dipped in chocolate tomorrow. Still have the pumpkin pie and dressing to make tomorrow.

    Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS or if you prefer HAPPY HOLIDAY!

  8. Just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas before heading out to a Christmas program that 4 of my grandchildren are in!

    Happy New Year, too!

  9. Hi! I’m excited about trying this recipe. Question: when you say you grated the peel, do you mean you zested with a micro plane? Wouldn’t it be bitter if you peeled the entire rind? Thanks for the advice!