Pecan Recipes

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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Date and Pear Compote and Candied Pecans Recipe

Dulce de leche (caramelized milk sauce) is called confiture de lait in French. We had the most delicious Tres Leches during our anniversary trip to Cancun last month, and it inspired me to make ice cream that captures the flavor.

I've made my own dulce de leche in the past by heating a can of condensed milk in boiling water but I remember it took forever. So this time, I took a shortcut and used a can of ready-made dulce de leche.

Dried fruits, pear, honey and candied ginger are very common during the holiday season, so I made a compote out of these ingredients to pair with the ice cream. The final touch is a topping of candied pecans to give the dessert a nice crunch.

This is a dessert that has decadent written all over it. Dieters need not apply. It's a fabulous way to end any holiday meal.

 


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Cranberry Bars with Chestnut Spread and Crushed Pecans Recipe

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been giving more thought to new dessert recipes to go with the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies that we make each year. I recently had an absolutely delicious lemon bar, and it occurred to me that a modified cranberry sauce would be a good substitute for the lemon curd.

I used shortbread as the cookie layer. Shortbread is very easy to make, and the buttery and crumbly texture is a nice foil to the sweet and tart flavor of the cranberries. Once the shortbread had baked, I spread a thin layer of chestnut spread over it. The chestnut spread balances the tartness of the jellied cranberries.

To make the cranberry jelly, I added guava in place of the usual orange juice to give the jelly sweetness as well as a more complex flavor. (It also reminds me of our recent anniversary trip to Cancun). Guava is not really in keeping with the season, so if you prefer, apple juice would be fine, but I think the guava has more depth. The goal is to limit the sourness of the jelly because after all, we're making a dessert.

After applying a generous layer of the cranberry spread to the bars, I finished them with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.


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Pecan Stuffing with Rosemary, Fennel and Fresh Water Chestnuts Recipe

Here's a stuffing recipe that really packs a crunch. Pecans and water chestnuts provide flavor as well as a nice texture contrast. I added a fennel bulb for a mild licorice flavor, mushroom salt and a small amount of jalapeño for a bit of heat.

For a fancier stuffing, you can add some crumbled blue cheese to the croutons. I finished the pecan stuffing with a little parmesan for a salty (but not overpowering) note.

This recipe is far more savory than the cranberry apple stuffing I made last week. The differences between the two versions really demonstrate the versatility of stuffing. Whatever your preference, there's a stuffing that you and your family will love.


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Homemade Pecan Pie with Nutella Recipe

Homemade Pecan Pie with Nutella

11.14.09 by Jackie

We always prefer to make pecan pies from scratch. Pecans are fairly expensive, and I've found that the pies sold at stores really skimp on the namesake nut to cut costs. They tend to be very egg-y, almost like a lemon curd, with only a layer of pecans on the top. This recipe, by contrast, is richer and absolutely loaded with pecans.

Molasses, dark corn syrup and brown sugar combine to form the base of the pie filling. To this, I whisk in eggs and chopped pecans. I also add a touch of anise extract to the filling. The licorice flavor really accentuates the molasses. When it's fully baked, it has a wonderfully dense and gooey texture.

Even the crust is flavored with pecans. To the flour, butter and sugar I added some pecan mill.  I first baked just the crust and then smeared it with a thin layer of Nutella. Nutella has hazelnuts in it, but I think it provides a nice flavor contrast to the pecans. And seriously, what does Nutella not go with?

If you make just one homemade pie for Thanksgiving this year, make a pecan pie. It will cost about the same as a store-bought version, but there's no comparison.

Pecan Pie Recipe


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Crostata with Pecan and Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe

* The memory card of my camera just crashed and that's the only picture I could recover of the crostata right before getting in the oven.

A crostata is a dessert that is filled with jams or fruits and its sweet crust is folded inward at each edge. It gives the tart a more artisanal, which means rustic in French, and free-form look than other regular pies.

I made the dough with polenta to give it a more crumbly texture and flavored it with star anise. I used fresh ginger and Meyer lemon for the filling in addition to the blueberries.


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