I recently mentioned that we turned up empty-handed in our search for more Pecans! pecan butter after we bought our local health food store out of stock. (Okay, we only bought two there, but the second one appeared to be the last.) After striking out on buying more of the good stuff, we decided to try making our own. It turned out to be very easy and very tasty. Pecans are loaded with antioxidants, some of which appear to be particularly helpful for lowering cholesterol and promoting heart health. I think we’ll make more homemade nut butters soon, and start working on a cocoa powder-hazelnut version. Yum. I had no idea this would be so do-able.
I followed the general proportions laid out by Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and then tasted my way through the batch to try to get it just right. Have I mentioned Bittman before? I love him. His are some of my very favorite cookbooks (and apps) because he is so thorough, knowledgeable, inventive, and prolific. Reading his books feels like taking cooking lessons from a professional. I once spent the better part of a snow day poring over them after my friend Kim gifted them to me for my birthday. It seems like he knows exactly how to make everything and a dozen ways to create fresh variations of every basic. For example, he mentioned garlic, chiles, and ginger as potential additions to a nut butter to create different flavor palates.
Here’s what I ended up with. I like that it has no refined sugar, oil, butter, or margarine.
Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter
2 and 1/2 cups raw pecans
1/4 tsp. finely ground sea salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. raw honey
Combine all ingredients in food processor, and process to desired texture. This can take 5 minutes or more, even 10. Just keep going through the crumbly phases, stopping to taste or scrape down the sides when you want to. Adjust your ingredients to taste.
Makes about 1 cup of pecan butter.
Then, too late, I figured out that the recipe Pecans! uses is online! They use more honey, cinnamon, and salt, and what is really interesting about the technique is that they toss the raw pecans in all the ingredients initially, then roast them, and then puree them into nut butter. That must be the secret to their unique, delicious flavor. Can’t wait to try it. We are also going to attempt a version with maple syrup instead of honey so it is suitable for David’s sister (a strict vegan).