I’m a sucker for anything maple pecan.
Maple walnut works, too. Maple almond? Sure! I wouldn’t say no to some maple cashews, or hazelnuts, or macadamias, either. Long story short, I like maple syrup and nuts together.
Big surprise there, right?
I usually end up disappointed, because most maple-pecan and maple-walnut products out there are maple flavored, not actually made with real maple syrup (no thank you, fake French toast flavor), but that hasn’t stopped me from trying.
As fate would have it, when I was digging through my chest freezer the other day, taking stock of what we have left from our summer harvest (for the record, we are still working our way through Warner Farm’s strawberries and corn, Quonquont Farm’s blueberries and peaches, and Thomas Farm’s kale, green beans, beets, and herbs), I came across two giant, long-forgotten bags of pecans. Bought on crazy-cheap sale in the fall and promptly frozen and forgotten.
Did you know you can freeze pecans? In fact, you can freeze any nut, really. They last FOR-EVER that way. If you see ’em for cheap- stock up! Just, maybe don’t forget about them in the bottom of your freezer, k? Or do…the nuts won’t hold it against you.
So, doing what any good nut-butter-loving lady would do in this situation, I decided to use up the majority of my frozen pecans in a giant batch of Salted Maple Pecan Butter.
To start, pecans get roasted with maple syrup until golden and crisp. The maple syrup caramelizes and evaporates, sticking to the pecans and preventing the final product from seizing up, as liquid sweeteners typically do to nut butter. Warm pecans get dumped into a high-powered blender or food processor with a generous pinch of salt (and may some cinnamon, if you’re into it), and pureed until drippy and smooth.
Trust me, it’s the right thing to do.
The good news is, even if you’re working with an old, slow, debatably powerful food processor or blender (my Vitamix was a state-of-the-art blending machine when it was brand new, but that was six years ago…), pecans are so buttery and soft, they blend with relative ease.
The end result is a salty-sweet, drippy, irresistibly toasty pecan butter that’s perfect for spreading/drizzling on:
+ other breakfast foods.
You get the picture.
It’s also perfect just eaten by the spoonful. Or sandwiched between two cookies. Or, or, or…
If you’re as crazy about the combination of maple + pecans as I am, you’re going to be OBSESSED with this nut butter.
It kind of tastes like liquid pecan pie. Just sayin’.
Try it out, and let me know what you think! Leave a comment here, or take a picture and share it with me on Instagram. I can’t wait to see your golden, drippy goodness.
- 4 cups raw pecan halves
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2-4 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil (optional, to help blend more easily)
- 1. Turn on oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and add pecans and maple syrup to the pan. Mix well to coat the nuts in maple syrup, and pour directly into the oven (no need to wait for it to preheat).
- 2. Roast pecans from 14-16 minutes, or until nuts are starting to turn golden brown and the syrup is caramelized.
- 3. Let pecans cool about 5 minutes, until just warm, and transfer to the bowl of a food processor or high-powered blender with the salt and cinnamon.
- 4. Blend pecans for anywhere from 2-8 minutes, depending on the power of your machine, or until completely smooth and drippy. Be patient- sometimes this takes a few minutes extra, and you need to stop and scrape down the sides as few times. If your pecans are struggling to liquify, add virgin coconut oil, a Tablespoon at a time, blending in between.
- 5. Store in a glass jar at room temperature for several weeks (potentially months, but mine never lasts that long without getting eaten!).
- If you're more into the combination of maple + walnut more than you are pecans, this recipe can be made with equal parts walnuts in place of the pecans!