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MaMa's Salted Pecan Halves

My mother ("Momma"...later when grandchildren came, "MaMa") (Mildred Brown Shaw of Sumter, S. C.), makes really good "toasted" pecans (baked/roasted/toasted). Deliberate avoidance of butter or any other natural, fatty agent keeps them from becoming "greasy".

  •  baking/toasting container: open (no lid) baking sheet/pan with sides.
  • oven: cold not preheat.
  • salt: regular table salt.
  • liquid component to coate nuts: tap water (Momma later preferred to Pam spray the nuts rather than use water).
  • staple ingredient: intact pecan (nut) halves from shelled pecans.

The pecans can be freshly shelled or frozen from one or more seasons back, or store-bought. Either (1) with pecans in the baking dish, spray them with Pam; or, (2) seriously wet the pecan halves with tap water (example: place entire amount of pecans in a colander and run under tap-water). Shake off excess water and dump the batch into the baking container and spread evenly so that you have approximately a single crowded or slightly heaped up layer of halves. Salt very liberally (because much will come off during other steps). Put into oven and turn to 350 degrees F. As soon as oven hits 350, cut it back to 200 and time. Every 15 minutes, move pecans around a little (helps any water puddles to evaporate and helps even the roasting). They are usually "right" at an hour. To be sure, take a pecan half and bite it and taste it to see if it is as you like it. It could take checking every 15 minutes for even an hour and a half. When "right", re-close oven, cut oven off, and leave in oven until it gets cool...even overnight is OK.

C. R. "Randy" Baldwin's (one of Ervin's best friends) modification: In a proper-sizes bowl use about a half stick of butter & add a lot of salt & microwave to melt. Then add pecans & stir around to get a butter-salt coating. Then place onto a cookie sheet and then into an oven pre-heated to 225 degrees. Watch carefully....ESPECIALLY once you smell the "cooking-pecans" smell. Remove quickly from oven before the pecans get over-cooked.

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[posted 4 December 2005; modified 18 November 2016]