Community cookbooks can be hit or miss, but I've had a few recipes bookmarked to try from a little fundraising booklet from the local middle school. This one looked interesting. I have always loved sugared nuts anyway and I adore citrus. This is very subtle on the orange, would definitely be good with lemon. Oh yeah. Lemon rules. These are a great sweet treat and would be excellent chopped as a topping for ice cream, or added to a cheese board. These are cooked slightly more than pralines, taking them to a little firmer level so they can be broken and separated instead of making candy puddles. These are ready immediately after cooling instead of having to set up like pralines. I would keep them as a holiday treat as the kids won't get into them, not their cup of tea, and hubby sugars out fast so I need to make half batches and not keep them around much because I will definitely get into them. (Yes, the recipe halves nicely.) I cooked mine to about 243ºF by the time I grabbed my butter. The sugar part is firm but with a softer bite, not like a brittle. Be sure to use a large enough pot as the mixture will bubble up at first and then settle down after a number of minutes. A 2 Qt pot is just large enough for a half batch.
Sugared Pecans (with orange)
makes ~ 5 cups
Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges (I recommend thicker zested strips of peel and not microplaned for this application)
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter
4 cups pecans (I toasted mine in an air fryer for 5-7 minutes at 350ºF and recommend the toasting)
Zest or cut orange rind into thin slivers, avoiding the white pith. Combine with the sugar, salt, flour, milk and orange juice in a 6 qt pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook over medium heat to 240ºF on a candy thermometer, soft-ball stage; remove from heat. Stir in butter. Add pecans; beat until creamy. Quickly spoon onto waxed paper; separate pecans. Store in airtight container with waxed paper between layers.