PRAWWWWWWlines. Say it with me, and then get in the kitchen and make some. You won’t be disappointed. I Guarantee It.
This recipe came from my love of the sweet confection. I have been obsessed with the treat since my first visit to New Orleans way back when Emeril had a last name. I printed this recipe and a story to go with it on my previous blog, but they are so good, I thought they warranted their own page on Sixty Acre Baker. They make a perfect holiday (or any time of year, really) gift.
1 quart heavy cream
3 cups granulated sugar
generous pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs toasted pecans
1 Tbs+ 1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
In a heavy bottomed pan, stir together the cream, sugar and salt. Place on low to med-low heat and pop in a candy thermometer. Cook until thermometer reaches 234 degrees F. The wait between 220 and 234 is lengthy..don’t be tempted to up the heat to make it happen faster. You can pretty much leave it alone until it reaches 220, at 220, stay in the kitchen checking on it frequently. When it hits 230, watch it and start stirring, it will start to change colors at this point and you want to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. There will be brown bits, but just mix them in. Stir, stir, stir. When it hits 234, take the pot off the heat, remove the thermometer and add the lemon juice, vanilla, butter and pecans. Stir to incorporate, then pop the thermometer back in and bring the temp back to 234. It will go a bit faster this time, keep an eye on it and stir continually to prevent burning on the bottom. When it hits 234, spoon it out in dollops (i use a soup spoon),onto parchment lined cookie sheets, or aluminum foil that has been sprayed or greased lightly.There are a lot of pecans in this, so make sure you get a nice mix of the caramelly goodness. One batch will make about 50 moderately sized pralines. They will look like caramel until you cool them. As they cool and sit, they will begin to get a bit cloudy. That is a good thing. You are not looking for chewy here.
Let cool for a few hours. They will keep for quite a while if you keep them in an airtight container in a dry place. Please, do not put in the fridge.