I Love This Plant: Pecan Trees

Pecan trees are the state tree of Texas.  And no wonder.  They grow naturally here and of course who doesn’t love pecans.  Their leaves grow on small twigs which sprout in a whorling pattern from a larger branch.  Sitting under a pecan tree and watching the sunlight through the leaves is like looking through a kaleidoscope.  In the fall, the pecans are plentiful and drop conveniently onto the ground for harvest.  We have one pecan tree and I was worried this year would be its last.  It grew as a volunteer and was allowed to stay.  It is really too near our shed and so grows at a funny angle.  I don’t get many pecans from this tree because the dogs and the squirrels wage a pecan war every fall scarfing and in the squirrel’s case, burying, as many pecans as possible.  I really don’t mind.  I like buying my pecans shelled.  Even so I am glad this tree is stable and not damaging the foundation of the shed.  For those of you who live in the South, you already know the charm of a mature pecan tree.  For those who don’t, at least you can enjoy the fruit.  This recipe for Honey Roasted Pecans is one of my favorites.  You might be tempted to omit the salt but believe me, it’s really important.

Honey Roasted Pecans

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

2 1/4 cups pecan halves

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (105 degrees C).  Lightly grease a rimmed baking pan.  Combine the egg white and water in a mixing bowl; beat until fluffy.  Fold in the pecans to coat evenly.

Combine the sugar, salt, and ground  cinnamon in a shaker or cup with a lid. Dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture. Spread the nuts over the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour. Cool on pan, and store in an airtight container.

Happy Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

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