A True American Nut
View Newsletter of June 24, 2020
With their mighty trees taking root along the rich, fertile banks of the many rivers flowing throughout the vast plains of the southeastern United States more than 100 million years ago, pecans are the only major tree nut indigenous to America and have not been found growing naturally anywhere else in the world.
The pecan’s storied past predates the founding of our country; yet, pecans have become embedded into American traditions, culture and, of course, cuisine. Today, pecans are one of the few indigenous plants to have evolved into a highly coveted and internationally traded crop, with American growers producing over 80% of the world’s pecan supply.
Wild pecans were a staple in the diets of Native Americans, who originally referred to them as pecanes and relied on their nourishing kernels as a major food source in the fall months. They also created what could be considered the original nut milk called powcohicora by fermenting pecan powder into a drink.
After centuries foraging wild pecans, Native Americans began planting pecan trees and trading their harvest to European explorers, who quickly became enamored and helped spread the lore—and seed—of this local delicacy.
Today, American Pecans™ are the product of well-nourished soil, warm climate, strong sun, an adequate water supply, and the nurturing of passionate growers. It also requires immense patience – considering that it takes nearly 10 years before a pecan tree is in full production of nuts. Fortunately, the stately pecan tree – the largest member of the hickory family – can produce nuts for 100 years or more.
Pecan growers recognize they’re taking care of something special. Numerous American families have proudly passed down the traditions of the trade for multiple generations. Pecans not only have a treasured place in the history of America, they’ve given their distinctive flavor to many uniquely American dishes, including everyone’s favorite, pecan pie.
A recipe for you:
Classic Pecan Pie
Submitted by: Emily Caruso, Jelly Toast to American Pecans
The classic pecan pie is a must-have dessert at Thanksgiving and other holidays throughout the year. This recipe holds true to tradition with buttery pecans and is simple to make calling for a store-bought or crust of your choice.
1 9-inch pie dough (store bought or homemade)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp salt
Place baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Gently line pie pan with rolled out pie dough. Be sure to press into edges and up the sides. Use fingers or a fork to create a decorative edge of your choice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Add eggs and salt and whisk until mixture is even. Fold in pecan halves.
Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Take pieces of aluminum foil and gently cover edges of pie crust. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until pie is set in center.
Remove pie and allow to cool completely before serving or chilling. Pie can be made the day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Allow pie to come to room temperature before serving.
Find more recipes at www.greenvalleypecan.com/recipes/