Make Ahead

Crispy Spice-Brined Pecans

October 25, 2010
3 Ratings
Author Notes

Here’s another spice-brined “crispy” nut recipe. These pecan halves are delicately flavored, to be savored one by one, slowly. (That’s actually not a bad way to eat everything else, of course.) Raw pecans are brined in a solution of salt, sweet spices and fresh orange peel, then dried and lightly roasted in a very slow oven. Your patience will be rewarded with a mildly-flavored nut with a beautiful texture. The method is based on one described by Sally Fallon in "Nourishing Traditions." Be warned: these are habit forming. Enjoy!! - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

These spiced pecans -- unlike their sugar-shellacked counterparts -- are sitting, unassumingly, on a wonderful secret. At first glance, they appear raw and untouched, but one bite betrays that they're actually perfectly salted and spiced from within, and dried to a crisp. The long brining and low, low roasting technique takes only time and almost no effort. But here's another secret: those times can be approximated with little ill effect. Even with a couple hours shaved off each the brining and roasting times, these still disappeared from the jar. If you can't find mace, substitute nutmeg or try one of AntoniaJames' other, equally enticing crispy spiced nut recipes. - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 2 cups of nuts
  • 2 cups of raw pecan halves
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • ½ of a cinnamon stick, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 pieces of orange peel, each 1” x 3”
In This Recipe
  1. Combine 1 ½ cups of boiling water in a glass or ceramic bowl with all of the other ingredients except the pecan halves. Cool to lukewarm, then stir well.
  2. Add the nuts and allow them to soak for 6-8 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove the pecans from the brining liquid and spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Remove the whole spices and the orange peel.
  5. Roast for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Enjoy!!
  7. If by chance, there are any left, store them in a tightly lidded container.
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Recipe by: AntoniaJames

When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in Boulder County, CO, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)