Sunday, October 23, 2011

Palanqueta De Nuez (Mexican Pecan Brittle)

When people think of regional recipes, most often desserts and confections from the southeastern US come to mind.  Dishes from Mexico are about a far away from the imagination, than associations of Japanese sashimi with the Brazilian Amazon would be (leave it to Tony Bourdain to actually bridge this particular culinary gap on a recent episode of No Reservations!).  But the use of pecans in Mexico is quite old, and this is their traditional nut brittle; it is notable for it's round shape and is widely popular in the northeastern part of the country.

3 to 4 cups pecan halves
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 large or several small round oven proof dishes, greased (I've used corn oil)

1.  Place the water and sugar into a heavy saucepan.  Heat over warm heat slowly and stir once and leave to dissolve the sugar completely.  Turn the heat up slightly and continue to cook until the mixture turn the color of clear caramel color.  Add the nuts and stir to coat completely.  Pour this mixture into the round mold(s).  Set aside in a drafty area to cool completely.  Serve as you would any nut brittle.  This marries very well orange dishes.

Traditional Palanqueta de Nuez in heart shape, perfect for Valentines!

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