Makes 1-1/2 Cups
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Generously butter a shallow baking pan (preferably a 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan) and set aside (see Go Burn!, page 196 of the book). Have ready a longhandled wooden spoon, a pastry brush, and a cup of water.
Combine the sugar, water, nutmeg or cinnamon, and cream of tartar or lemon juice in a 1-quart heavy saucepan or skillet and mix well. Place on medium-high heat and cook, stirring with the wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves.
Bring the syrup to a boil, cover the pan, and boil 3 minutes longer.
Uncover the pan. Dip the pastry brush in the water and wash down the sides of the pan.
Cook the syrup over high heat without stirring, but swirling the pan by the handle, for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the syrup turns the color of lightly brewed tea.
Scatter the pecans over the syrup and stir quickly with the wooden spoon to cover the nuts with the liquid.
Cook the syrup 2 or 3 minutes longer or until it is golden brown and the nuts are just lightly toasted.
Immediately pour the nuts and syrup onto the baking pan. Working quickly, separate the pecans with a fork. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool the candy until hard, at least an hour. Or place the pan on a wire rack and let the candy set in one layer, at least an hour. Break into pieces.
Variation: Substitute shelled Brazil, walnuts, blanched almonds, or unsalted cashew nuts for the pecans, and proceed as directed above.
Soul Food Desserts from Family and Friends
by Joyce White
Hardcover: 320 pages, $24.95; $38.95 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created March 2003