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Spiced Pecans - A Family Feast

Spiced Pecans

Yield: 4 cups 1x
Prep: 10 minsCook: 20 minsTotal: 30 minutes


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 cups water

4 cups whole pecan halves (approximately 1 pound)

1/4 cup sugar

Canola oil


  1. In a small bowl, add cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, salt and mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over high heat, heat 6 cups of water to boiling. Add pecans and bring back to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under running hot water. Drain completely and blot dry as much as possible with paper towels.
  3. Pour drained nuts into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to coat the nuts completely with the sugar.
  4. Line a sheet tray with parchment or waxed paper and set aside. Place a small to medium colander over a medium bowl and set aside. Have two small spiders, strainers or slotted spoons standing by.
  5. In a deep-sided skillet or saucepan, heat about 1 inch of canola oil to 350 degrees. (It’s recommended that you use a candy thermometer to make sure that you have the oil at the correct temperature – too hot will burn the nuts, too cool will not cook the nuts quickly enough and you won’t get the crisp texture.)
  6. Once the oil is at 350 degrees, with a slotted spoon (a ‘spider strainer’ like this works really well for this task), carefully add about half of the pecans to the oil (be careful as the wet nuts being added to the oil will splatter up!). The oil temperature will drop so keep the flame high to recover back to 350 while they fry. Fry for three minutes – stirring often. Note: Do not fry past three minutes or they will burn and taste bitter.
  7. With two slotted spoons, or two spiders or strainers, remove pecans from the oil and place into a the colander over the bowl to drain. Sprinkle with half of the salt-spice mixture and keep tossing the pecans so that they don’t stick together as they cool. Transfer the pecans to the prepared sheet tray to cool completely. Make sure the oil is back to 350 and hasn’t risen past that temperature. If so remove from the burner to cool back to 350 degrees F. Repeat with the remaining pecans.
  8. Store cooled nuts in a tightly covered container.

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© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: American Method: boiled, fried