Celebrating the Pecan!
By Aaron Hale
Posted April 9, 2021

Did you know that the pecan is the only tree nut native to North America?  Its buttery flavor and unmatched nutritional content have resulted in growing worldwide popularity. Its’ origin is traced back to the 16th century.  And the name “pecan” is derived from the Native American (Algonquin) word “pacane” (pacane) that described “nuts requiring a stone to crack.”  And they were right because if you don’t have a nut cracker or really strong hands - you’re going to need a stone to crack it open too!

In the 1700s and early 1800s American Colonists began using the popular nut in commerce, with great success. To meet demand, pecan orchards (trees planted by humans) became a companion to pecan groves (trees grown by natural forces).

Trees in groves and orchards produced nuts varying in size, shape, shell characteristics, flavor, and ripening dates. Occasionally, a wild tree would yield unusually large, thin-shelled nuts, which were highly prized by customers. But the production of such prized nuts was inconsistent and couldn't be duplicated. 

Pecans have an unbeatable flavor and are packed with important nutrients. Pecans are a good source of protein and are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium and the B vitamins.  Rich in potassium and phosphorus, pecans also provide fiber.  They have been found to help lower cholesterol and contain only a trace of sodium.

Why do I use Georgia Pecans?  Because only the best ingredients go into my E.O.D Confections!

Georgia is the nation's leading pecan producing state. In Georgia, pecans are harvested during October and November, but are available year-round. Orchards ranging in size from a few acres to several thousand acres are located in Albany and Dougherty County, which are known as the "pecan capital of the world," because of the number of pecan trees in the area!  And you know I only use the finest and freshest pecans for my customers!

Fun Facts about Pecans…

- I can’t even imagine this, but roasted pecan shells were a common coffee substitute in Civil War rations up until WWII - wait, what?  Pecan shell coffee...things that make you go hmmmm.

- Astronauts took pecans to the moon in two Apollo space missions!

- According to sources, the pecan pie was created by French people who had settled in New Orleans – and about 78 pecans are used in the average pecan pie - that’s a lot of pecans for one pie!

- The pecan is a species of hickory – In addition to the pecan nut, the wood is also used in making furniture, in hardwood flooring, as well as a flavoring wood for smoking meats.

- Pecan trees may live and bear edible nuts for more than 300 years and grow to be 130 feet tall.

- There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans and many are named for Native American Indian tribes (Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee). About 20 are in commercial use.

- Pecans have been certified as a “Heart-Healthy Food” by the American Heart Association.

- 80% to 95% of the pecans grown in the world come from the United States!

- The best soil for growing pecans is found in river bottom floodplains.

- During the heat of summer each tree needs 150 gallons of water per day; and one inch of rain falling on one acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons of water!

Even under drought stress pecan leaves will not wilt.  And even though the tap root of a pecan tree can grow 20 feet deep, 95% of the root system is found in the top 24 inches of soil.

- People pronounce “pecan” differently and no one agrees which is the correct pronunciation.  Do you say Pea-Can or Pah-Kawn?  Doesn’t really matter - it tastes the same regardless of pronunciation! 


 

Recipe for Pecan Pie - Yield: 1 9-inch pie; Prep Time:  20 minutes; Bake Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes; Chill Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

PIE CRUST:  (can substitute with a frozen pie crust if desired - if so skip to Pecan Pie Filling directions)

1 1/4 cups (155g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1/4 cup ice water

 

PECAN PIE FILLING:

1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups pecan halves


 

DIRECTIONS:

PIE CRUST: (can substitute with a frozen pie crust if desired, if so skip to filling directions):

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

Add in the cold and cubed butter and use your fingers to press it into the dough. Keep working it in until you reach small pea-sized lumps all throughout.

Pour in 1/4 cup of ice water and mix with a wooden spoon. It should become thick and damp but still somewhat crumbly. It it’s still too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it starts to form into a shaggy dough.

Pour it out onto a lightly floured surface (crumbs and all) and work it into a smooth ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.

Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Once chilled, let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Then roll it out and form it into your 9″ or 10″ pie dish. Place the shell back into the refrigerator while you make the filling.

 

PECAN PIE FILLING:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and well combined.

Mix in the pecans to evenly coat.  I save some to decorate the top before it goes in the oven.

Pour into the chilled pie shell and spread around the pecans to create an even filling.  I like to use some pecan halves to decorate the top - just gently push down slightly in the design of your choice!  

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. It’s done with the crust is golden brown, the edges are barely bubbling, and your whole kitchen has a nutty and caramelized aroma.

Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature, then move to the refrigerator to chill for about 1-2 hours to set.

Slice and enjoy!

Let me know if you try the at home recipe!  Now, head to the products section and find some of my luxurious treats that will tickle your tastebuds and treat yourself - order now!

 





 

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