New Orleans Pralines

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You didn’t think I forgot I had a blog, did you?  Well, I almost did.  With all the trips and the non-piggie Flu I picked up along the way, I’ve been neglecting the space here for quite a while.  (If you’re following me on Twitter you’ve heard it all before.)  Sorry.  But I’m back, and I brought you a pretty cool souvenir from the road, an amazing recipe for true New Orleans pralines.  For me, one of the best things about traveling is learning how to cook local specialties.  That’s how I bring that taste from the road home with me and recreate it whenever I want to.  So, imagine my delight when Ms.Linda and her husband Peter (my friend Josh’s dad) invited me over to their place to make pralines with them.

First, we must get something straight.  I don’t care where you are in -or even out of- the country, you need to learn how to pronounce the word right – and by ‘right’ I meant the way they do in New Orleans.  Repeat after me.  PRAA-leans.  Not praa-LEANS, or PRAY-leens.  And definitely not PRAA-lynes.  Got that?

Ok, now that we know how to pronounce it properly, it’s time I confess something.  This recipe makes textbook-perfect New Orleans pralines, yes, but it’s actually not from New Orleans!  Ms.Linda -she’s a proper Southern Lady so it’s Ms.Linda to you and me- said she got the recipe from “a Greyhound Man in Mississippi”.  I was hoping that she would say she got it from a man she met on a grayhound bus in Mississipi, wouldn’t it be such a fun story?  Alas, no, she just got it from a man who worked there.

Still, the recipe makes pretty perfect New Orleans pralines, and I learned it when I was New Orleans, so it’s New Orleans Pralines to me.  (Oh, and, yes, if you bought any marmalade from my last batch on Etsy, you got some of these tucked into the box.)

The recipe is so easy you won’t believe me until you try it yourself.

1 12fl.oz. can of evaporated milk (1.5cups or 350ml)

7 Tablespoon (100 gr.) butter

300 gr. brown sugar (1.5 cup)

300 gr. sugar (1.5 cup)

1 generous tablespoon of Corn syrup

350gr broken pecans (3.5 cups)

1 t. vanilla extract

(Before you start, set up an area in your kitchen where you can set the pralines as soon as the mixture is done.  If your countertop is heat resistant, you can just set down 3-4 large sheets of parchment paper.  If not, line three baking sheets with parchment paper and place them over trivets to protect your countertop.  Ms.Linda advices rubbing butter all over the parchment to prevent sticking, I don’t do it when I made my last two batches and my pralines didn’t stick, so, if I were you I wouldn’t bother)

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Place a large, heavy bottom pot over moderate heat, add butter to melt.  Add evaporated milk, brown sugar, white sugar, and corn syrup, turn the heat up and bring to a hard boil.

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Then, lower the heat and simmer for approx. 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 110C.

Add pecans and vanilla extract and beat with a spatula about 3 more minutes until the pecans take on a light brown color.

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Keep stirring, it’s very important to stir vigorously to incorporate air into the pralines at this stage.  You can see the pralines turning opaque as you stir.  I like to sprinkle a generous pinch of corse salt into the pralines at this stage – it’s my own spin on this, but I like my desserts with a bit of salt.  You certainly don’t need to.

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When the praline mixture is ready, move the pot over to the prepared area.  Scoop out one tablespoon of praline at a time and place each on top of the parchment lined countertop or cookie sheet.  Using two tablespoons here will help, scoop with one, and use the other to help push the thick praline mixture out onto the parchment.  Ms.Linda and her husband Peter have got this down to a science, she stirs, he pours, she scoops, he keeps the pot tilted to make it easier for her to reach the pralines.  It’s quite useful to have an extra pair of hand in this operation, so, get your significant other off the couch!  They can lick the spoon afterwards. ;-)

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Leave the finished pralines out on the parchment to cool down completely and set.  This might take anywhere from an hour to a few hours, depending on the humidity where you are.  When they are set, turning completely pale and opaque, use a small spatula to scoop each one up from the paper into an airtight container.

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Here’s Peter performing a crucial task of counting the final results.  This batch makes just over 40 pralines.  They keep well in an airtight container for a couple weeks.  Or so I was told.  I wouldn’t know. My pralines are always gone long before.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e54ef1b2ca8834 yish

    these look so irresistable, I should probably ask you NOT to bring them with you!

  • http://www.oakmonster.com oakley

    I can’t eat that now… Boo. But think this would make awesome Christmas presents, don’t you?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I’m sure they do, but if you can wait all the way to christmas to make
    these I don’t know you at all.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Better yet, we can make them when I’m there!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/miz_ginevra Ginevra

    pralines! these make my heart go all pitter-patter. I’ll have to make them for my folks when I head back east this weekend.
    Also, can I say I love that you call her Ms. Linda, just like a southern girl would? :P

  • http://purplefoodie.com The Purple Foodie

    Ooohh these look sooo good! I will try these with walnut instead.

  • Una

    what can i use as a substitute for corn syrup?

  • http://JunLoayza.com Jun Loayza

    I love how you combine your text with images. It makes me feel so much closer to your writing and it makes it look that much more delicious!
    Just stumbled and submitted your site to Viralogy. Hope you get some great traffic from it.
    - Jun

  • http://acookinglife.typepad.com GG Mora

    Mmmm. I lived in NoLA as a kid (although back then it was just new Orleans), and pralines are the very flavor of my childhood. Guess I’m just gonna have to make some.

  • http://acookinglife.typepad.com GG Mora

    If I may be so bold: I bet the corn syrup is just in there to keep the sugar from re-crystalizing, in which case liquid glucose would work.

  • http://www.aequarechocolates.com Jeff Stern

    I would suggest maybe adding the vanilla towards the end, the flavor tends to get cooked out if you boil it too long. Otherwise, they sound fantastic. Wish we had pecans in Ecuador.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    You are, of course, correct. I’ve used lyle golden syrup. Even honey might work I think.

  • http://www.authenticsuburbangourmet.blogspot.com Lisa

    Love your post and the way to pronounce them – you hit it exactly. I have never made them before and you have inspired me. From your visit to New Orleans, did you find variations to the traditional praline?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1230052137s28334 joel baumwoll

    These were the best, most dangerous candies I’ve had in a long time. I ate the ones in the marmalade box before I unwrapped the jars. Dare I make a batch?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1230052137s28334 joel baumwoll

    Is that a teaspoon of vanilla?

  • Dr Fred

    I can’t tell from the photos, do these set chewy or semi-hard?

  • Sam

    My office colleague is from NO and yesterday he was telling me about local specialty “cane syrup” which his mom sends him for his waffles because he can’t get it here. So now I am wondering whether these could be made with cane syrup instead of corn syrup. Or even golden syrup which is what I have in my pantry. I am sure any of those will work. I often sub golden for corn with no problem.

  • Pam

    I sub cane syrup for Karo all the time. It’s wonderful in pecan pie with a couple of tablespoons of bourbon thrown in also.

  • http://fourchickens.blogspot.com Jeanne

    Oooo, you finally posted them! I’ve been waiting ever since you included a couple of those delectables in the marmalade shipment. I can’t wait to try the recipe. Yay! And thank you!

  • http://chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    Yum! I’ve never seen pralines look so easy. Thanks!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Thanks. Pictures speak louder than words and all that, right?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    They really are so easy to make, you’d be surprised.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Actually, I’m not a fan of vanilla extract so I made it once with vanilla pod and other times with nothing at all.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I’m sure there are. In fact, Ms Linda makes hers sometimes with maple sugar replacing some of the regular sugar in the recipe. They were fabulous too.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Of course you dare, and yes it’s a teaspoon of vanilla, according to the recipe.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    They are semi-hard.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I’m sure. I’ve used Lyle as well, it changes the flavor a teeny bit but other than that no problem.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Bourbon, now you’re talking.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Please do, and let me know how yours turn out. You’re out of marmalade yet? Save some – no more until next year, I’m warning you!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    They really are. You really should try.

  • MissB

    As a southern girl myself, I will tip you off that many claim the “secret” to a N’awlins praline is adding some finely shredded sweetened coconut at the stage you add the pecans. Shhhhh I didn’t tell you!

  • http://celinabean.com Celinabean

    Nice to have you back. I’m going to ask my husband to make these. He does all the candy making in the house.

  • http://tastyeatsathome.wordpress.com Alta

    I love love love love pralines. Yum yum. I was just thinking the other day how I should try to make some, and you blogged about them! It’s a sign, I’m telling you!

  • Hannah

    I’m a loyal fan of Rachels organics, I have her coconut greek yoghurt loads! Fantastic news about your book being avalaible over here, I’ll have to hunt down a copy!
    We don’t hve corn syrup over here, would golden syrup be a good alternative?

  • http://www.love2bake.nl Dutch girl loves2bake

    Ooohh that looks good!

  • Diva

    Wow thanks! Those look amazing, and so simple to make. Would I be violating any praline “traditions” by drizzling chocolate on top? I’m so excited to make them now :)

  • http://www.bukopandan.org Michael Gilmore

    I love pralines. At Brennan’s (which is reconstructing) there is a big pile of pralines that you can grab by the handful. Here in south east Texas we eat them a lot and use the scraps to make praline cookies – kinda of a sugar cookie with pralines. We cut the sugar a little for the pralines sweetness. Give it a try!

  • pam

    can i use heavy cream instead of evap milk?..have some cream left over from another recipe.

  • pam

    i tried the heavy cream and it worked just fine. yummy!!

  • http://www.mulheresavapor.blogspot.com Paula Pacheco

    I loved this praline recipe and the pictures are also nice…I don’t know but I love to see pictures of people working at the kichen. It seem easy to do..I think…another they I will try to do :)

  • juli heinen

    did you say you had an etsy account? now I’m in trouble!
    Thanks! I am going to make these tonight!
    xoxo

  • http://www.moviebreaker.com Anthony

    Hi,
    I am Anthony from moviebreaker.com and I really love your website. I was wondering if you would be interested in a partnership. I love eating goodies during a movie and I would love it, if you were the one from where my visitors would get an ideea what to eat while watching a good film.
    Thank you.
    Regards

  • http://www.joingame.net Servers

    woow, you finally posted them! I’ve been waiting ever since you included a couple of those delectables in the marmalade shipment. I can’t wait to try the recipe. Yay! And thank you!

  • Teodora

    this looks like heaven !!!
    LOVE THESE PRALINES !

  • http://cynicalcook.blogspot.com Cynical Cook

    I loved the recipe and had to try it out for myself.
    http://cynicalcook.blogspot.com/2009/08/cooking-from-web-chez-pim-pralines.html
    However, I got a little ambitious and the bourbon pralines were a failure, but the bacon pralines were a rousing success. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Mary

    I make pralines all the time but I can’t get them to puddle (spread out). I use 2 cups granulated sugar, 6tbsp margarine, 1 can evaporated milk and about 2 cups of pecans. They taste terrific but I would like them to puddle for better packaging. What do you suggest? This recipe only makes about 20 pralines and I would like to make bigger batches at one time. I will try your recipe though, but I was wondering if it is the vanilla and/or corn syrup that helps it to puddle? I would like to give these as gifts for Christmas. Thank you.

  • http://www.ehow.com/facts_5534311_tebonin-side-effects.html Tebonin

    Just a lit bit thinking. Maybe should add a photo of when they fit in the beautiful paper..
    Have been a interview yesterday …they asked me find a different candy out of six. Your blog helps a lots.:p

  • http://www.thepersonalinjurylawyers.com.au Personal Injury Lawyers

    God this looks so good…a lit lit lit ones I wanna try for sure..

  • http://profile.typepad.com/theculinaryalchemistblogspotcom Theculinaryalchemist.blogspot.com

    Would brown rice syrup work well, in place of corn syrup? I use brown rice syrup when I make a salted caramel sauce for cookies or macarons, so wondering if it would do well in pralines.

  • QB

    Actually, it’s Miss Linda.  Southern women pretend the title ‘Ms.’ doesn’t exist.

  • Lll

    Make 2x the size of what u usally make and try that

  • Miss Mikey

    This recipe works like a dream!!  Delissshhhhh!!  Thank you Miss Linda!!  

  • Leslie

    I imagine if we go back far enough we’d find that the very first pralines were made either with cane syrup OR with molasses, since the south was rich in sugar cane as well as pecans! Brown sugar still has a lot of molasses in it. It’s hard to find real cane syrup these days, but I have a source and use it every chance I get to bump up the authenticity level on Southern recipes!