A great, big pecan tree towers tall in front of the house where I grew up. Most years, hurricanes rolled in off the Atlantic and wiped out the crop before it was mature. But one, magical year the tree weathered the storms and we were able to reap the bounty of its branches. We ended up with bushels and barrels of the things, and never, ever got sick of them. There's something to be said for enjoying food right where it was harvested. And to me, pecans will always say home.
Roasting the pecans brings out their rich, nutty flavor. And roasting them with the most perfect blend of sugar and spices? You'll think you've died and gone to heaven. I have made 2 batches in the past 2 days in hopes that my younger brother, who shares both my sentiments regarding pecans and my affinity for the candied variety, will pack his bags and head north.
Candied Spiced Pecans:*
1 large egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
about 1 lb. pecans
1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Beat egg white until stiff
3. Mix together sugar and spices
4. Stir sugar mixture into egg white
5. Gradually stir in pecans, coating liberally.
6. Spread out on parchment-lined baking sheet
7. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15.
*I'd say this is more of a recommendation than a recipe. If you love ginger, add some ginger. Vanilla? I'm sure that would be lovely too.