The Novice’s Guide to Roasting Pecans
What better way is there to spend the autumn and winter seasons than roasting pecans? Roasted nuts are a favorite at arts and crafts festivals in the autumn—along with kettle corn, but that’s another story… Roasted pecans can be stored and munched on as a casual snack or they can be dressed up in pretty containers and given as a gift. Roasting pecans yourself really is the most economical solution for this tasty indulgence, especially if you’re a big fan of pecans. We are going to take a look at the basic technique for roasting pecans as well as a few recipes to put a real flair on the taste of your pecans.
Basic Technique for Roasting Pecans
The basic technique for roasting pecans is, of course, through the oven. I should mention now that you want to use whole, plump pecans. Also try to select pecans that are close to the same size, as smaller pieces can burn before the larger pieces are finished roasting. To start out, you will need a baking sheet or a shallow baking dish. Cover the base of the pan or dish with a layer of aluminum foil. This will ensure that your pecans do not stick and also makes for a much easier cleanup! Take a large bowl and drizzle a bit of oil into it. Peanut oil works well, as does canola oil—both of which will not affect the flavor of the nut. Avoid using olive oil. Toss the pecans around in the oil until each has a light coating to keep it from drying to a crisp. Spread the nuts out over the baking sheet in a single layer. If you want a bit of extra flavor you can brush the nuts with melted butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake the pecans for about four minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and use a spatula to sir the nut around. Your basic aim is to flip them over so that the nuts roast evenly. Return the pan to the oven and resume roasting for another four minutes. Remove the nuts to a piece of wax paper on the counter and allow them to cool before storing them. They can be stored in a zip-top bag however the ideal method of storage would be in an air-tight jar or tin.
Sea Salt Seasoning
What could be better on game night than a bowl of roasted, salty pecans? For this, you will need three tablespoons of butter for every two cups of pecans, as well as one and a quarter teaspoons of fine sea salt (or to taste). As before, the pecans need to be tossed in a bowl, but instead of using oil you will use the salt. Once the pecans have a nice buttery coating, add the salt to the mixture and give them another toss. Lay the pecans out onto an aluminum foil-lined pan or dish and bake them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about seven minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and give the pecans a stir. Return them to the oven to cook for an additional seven minutes. Allow them to cool on wax paper and store in an air-tight jar or tin.
Autumn or Christmas Spice
These are a favorite down in the South and make a great gift for the host or hostess of Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas party. For this recipe, you will need one egg white, a tablespoon of water, a cup of sugar, three quarters teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a pound of pecans. Add the egg white and water to a large bowl and whisk them until they become frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix until well blended. Now grease a large baking sheet or a shallow oven-safe dish. From here, it is a two-step process. Start by tossing the pecans around in the frothy egg-water mixture. Remove them from the mixture using a slotted spoon and drop them into the sugary mixture. Toss them around until they are well coated. Move the coated pecans to the baking sheet and spread them out so that they are a single layer and are not touching. If the pecans touch, they will stick together and this can be a hassle if you intend to use them to fill gift bags or small jars. Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. Take care to stir them about every 15 minutes so they don’t stick to the pan and also to ensure an even roasting.