Pecan Pralines Recipe
I recently got back from a splendid vacation to North Carolina and South Carolina. Seven days – 1,300 miles – meandering our way down the coast with no set agenda and only one small backpack carrying the essentials. I even left my camera at home this time, opting to use my iPhone to capture the scenery along the way.
No matter where I go, I seem to come back culinarily inspired. This trip was no exception: Fried oysters, she crab soup, boiled peanuts, deep fried peanuts, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, and pralines were among the Southern-esque foods we sampled.
And I honestly loved them all.
Along the Way
We saw three breathtaking lighthouses on the Outer Banks of North Carolina:
We took a ferry to remote Ocracoke Island:
Charleston was an extremely charming city. Everything here was picturesque. The buildings. The cobblestone streets. The churches. The waterfront. The trees. The cemeteries. The Spanish moss.
And now, let’s talk about pralines. This is one recipe that we need to adopt in the North. Buttery. Brown sugary. Nutty. Perfection in a candy – especially when eaten freshly made and still warm.
When I got home, the first thing I did (before unpacking, mind you) was to run to the store and get ingredients for pralines. I’m a little obsessed, I admit. But a week away from my kitchen and a strong desire to recreate pralines at home, nothing was going to stop me.
This recipe is not difficult to make. The only tricky party is boiling the mixture until it reaches 236F, which isn’t tricky at all if you have a food thermometer.
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- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- Butter the sides of a large heavy-duty saucepan. Place sugars, salt, corn syrup, evaporated milk, and butter inside. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to boil. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches 236F on a food thermometer (or until the soft ball stage). Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla and pecans. Mix with a wooden spoon for about two minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly and begins to lose its glossiness. Working quickly, place heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto parchment paper. Allow to cool slightly before serving.