My aunt, who grew up in the original Fountain Avenue kitchen, shared this simple recipe with me years ago, and it has been a favorite in our house ever since.
These pecans are so easy to prepare and hard to resist. The incorporation of an egg white creates a crispy, crunchy, sugar coating while the cinnamon adds just the right amount of spice. A handful of these satisfy pre-dinner munchies, and a small bowl set out for company is sure to delight. Added to one of my favorite salads–Apple Pecan Spring Greens with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette–these pecans create a flavor-marriage made in heaven and supply the hint of crunch every good salad needs!
- 1 pound whole pecans
- 1 egg white plus one tablespoon water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- 1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and grease a rimmed baking sheet or line it with parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk egg white with water until frothy. (I do this with a fork or small whisk.) Add pecans and gently toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over pecans and mix thoroughly.
Transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes (see notes below), stirring every 15 minutes. When done, spread on another baking sheet and cool thoroughly. Store in an air-tight container. The pecans will stay fresh on counter for several days. I like to store them in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for quite a while…not that they will last too long!
- For years, I made this recipe with the oven set to 300 degrees F. More recently, I have cooked them at 275 degrees. The nuts turn out just as well but the chance of them over-browning if you miss the timer by a few minutes (which I have done once or twice!) is greatly reduced. This tends to be more helpful when using a dark-coated pan or if your oven tends to cook on the hot side.