Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pecans - a little history, and a couple of recipes

When I published Authors in the Kitchen: Recipes, Stories and More (Libraries Unlimited) I included a recipe shared with me by author and illustrator Bob Barner.  It's the best recipe for pecan pie that I have made.
As part of the book I also researched a little history of the pecan.  Here is that research - and the pecan pie recipe along with a recipe for the best candied pecans.

From page 22 - Authors in the Kitchen
Pecans are the only tree nuts native to North America, and they are particularly plentiful in the Southern states. Pecans were a major source of food for Native Americans as far back as the 1500s. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew pecan trees in their gardens.  In 1919, the pecan tree was named the state tree of Texas. The production of pecans is a major industry in the southeastern United States.  Eighty percent of thew world's pecans are produced in the United States.  Georgia is the leading pecan-producing state in the country, with nearly 55 million pounds of fresh pecans harvested in the fall of  2003.  Okmulgee, Georgia, holds the world record for the largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, and pecan brownie. Albany, Georgia, is the site of the annual National Pecan Festival.  As many as 600,000 pecan trees are growing in Albany—sometimes called the Pecan Capital of the United States.  Because of modern-day grafting techniques there are now more than a thousand varieties of pecans.

Bob Barner's mom has a pecan tree in her backyard, and Bob says. "Today she bakes [pecan] pies with the nuts from her own tree. Not only is the tree home to numerous squirrels, magpies, and a family of robins, but it also produces delicious pecans."

Bob's mother's pecan pie recipe

And this recipe is adapted from my friend Don Krotz's candied pecan recipe:

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