Pecan – garden and gun

Pecans are a long standing Southern food. The trees were a favorite of colonists in the 18th century—both Washington and Jefferson planted them—and today, nearly half of the country’s pecan crop comes from Georgia. And while pecan pie is always welcome on the holiday table, it’s not the only way to use up the versatile nut. “We order it by the box and keep it in the fridge,” says Jenny Latta, a recipe developer in Charleston, South Carolina. “On pizza night, I top a handful of white pizza with onion and rosemary jam. Homemade pecan butter is a staple in my fridge. We put it on toast or bananas for the kids, add some to smoothies, stir into yogurt bowls, or dip a bite into.” of dark chocolate as a late-night treat. Also keep at least a quart of delicious pecan granola in the fridge at all times, which can be used on everything from salads to pancakes.”

Pecan season peaks from October to January, so it’s time to stock up on a nearby orchard. If that’s not an option for you, the chefs we spoke to advised skipping the less ripe nuts (which lack flavour), and instead order them from a local farmer. Shelled nuts will keep for three months at room temperature and up to two years in the freezer. So grab yours now and you’ll have all the nuts you need to tackle any savory or sweet pecan recipe—including this one G & G Favorite.

1. Hand pecan pies

There’s one item that never comes off the rotating menu at FARM Restaurant in Bluffton, South Carolina: hand pies. “I wanted to be able to share the pie crust my mom, Genevieve, was famous for,” says Executive Chef Brandon Carter. “I felt like doing the hand pie version would give us that delicious, fresh-out-of-the-oven feel.” While it offers a variety of flavors, its handmade pecan pies are especially well-liked. Instead of using corn syrup for the filling, Carter’s swaps out the cane syrup for a more country country feel. However, the pecans are the real star. “I love the plump fatness and it’s texturally interesting,” he says. “There is nothing more quintessentially Southern than pecans.”

See the recipe here.

2. Beef tenderloin with horseradish pecan sauce

In the South, pecans are often found on the dessert table, but the versatile nuts can be a secret weapon in savory dishes, too. “Italians readily use walnuts and hazelnuts in savory applications; cashews often play a creamy foil in spicy Southeast Asian dishes; the French use chestnuts as root vegetables and almonds with fish,” says Jenny Latta, who created this dish for Schermer Pecans in Glenville, Georgia. “For some reason, we have bath-soaked pecans in the baking aisle, but it’s a great ingredient that really belongs in the produce section.” In this recipe, Lata uses pecans in two ways: as a garlicky crust and to enhance the chilled horseradish sauce served alongside the tenderloin. .

See the recipe here.

3. Pecan grits with roasted butternut squash and brown butter

It’s no surprise that Putt Wetherbee, fifth-generation owner of Schermer Pecans, always keeps a bowl of roasted and salted pecans in his house. “I never get tired of them,” he says. This recipe for pecan grits is among his favorite ways to use up walnuts. “It tastes like falling into a bowl,” he says.

See the recipe here.

4. Caramel pecan cake

When someone walked into a Red Truck bakery in Virginia and asked the owner to recreate a caramel cake recipe for a beloved local baker who passed away, owner Brian Noyes was more than ready for the challenge. “I was looking through my grandmother’s collection of recipes while reviving the inherited desserts of my country bakery in Virginia, hoping to find a long-lost type of cake that needed a little bright light on it,” says Noyes. “But until now I was confused.” With a little help from costume designer Billy Reed and a lot of experimentation, this is an epic caramel cake with pecans—and for once G & G Cover model – born.

See the recipe here.

5. Bourbon Pecan Pie

Pecan season peaks in the South with the holidays around the corner, so it’s no surprise that the beloved pecan pie is an annual event at family gatherings. This recipe from Hilary White, chef and co-owner of Bistro Hilary in Cynoia, Georgia, uses White’s grandmother’s crust recipe. But the chef adds her own twist to the filling: a dollop of bourbon. “It has the same dark corn syrup flavor nuances and makes the pie more Southern.”

See the recipe here.

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