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!
- 5-6 small Satsumas*
- 1 Cup Satsuma peel grated
- 1 Cup Satsuma Juice
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cups pecan halves
Grate outer peel of Satsumas and set aside
Liquefy fruit sections using high speed blender, measure 1 Cup, set aside
Satsuma juice, peel, and sugar
Using candy thermometer, cook over medium temp. until about 230 degrees, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. This may take up to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and quickly stir in pecans and spread immediately on greased sheet.
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!