Nuts About Pecans

Is it Pi-kon or Pee-can? No matter how you say it, pecans are the local nut of the season.

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Hand crafted Pecan Brittle is made in small batches from the candy artisans at Yon’s Pecans

Today’s post is driven by my friends at Yon’s Pecans , a part of Yon Family Farm, a certified South Carolina farm and grower in the South Carolina Midlands in the town of Ridge Spring. The farm’s pecan trees have been producing for decades. With some trees planted as early as the 1920’s, most of the trees on the farm are at the peak of their productive years.

Whole pecans, halves and pieces as well as pecan products of all kinds and fabulous pecan candies are available from Yon Family Farm online, as well as at The Nut House and Country Market in Ridge Spring.

In a nutshell, its All Things Pecan at The Nut House

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The Nut House & Country Market, located at
505 E Main St. in Ridge Spring SC is the cutest little shop. If you are looking for edible holiday or corporate gifts, you need look no further. Owned and operated by the second generation of the Yon Family, all of the candies, brittles and dipped and coated local pecan treats are made by hand in small batches. The pralines are to die for; but the pecan stuffed dates are my favorite.

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Just wait till you taste the pecan stuffed dates at The Nut House in Ridge Spring, SC

The Nut House & Country Market has had a reputation for premium, handmade pecan candies and exceptional customer service for more than 20 years. This is what Shopping Local is all about. You are going to love doing business with this long time farming family!

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For those of you who follow my Eat Local round ups, you might remember that I have already mentioned Yon’s Pecans once before when I wrote about Clemson’s Best Ice Cream. Yes! These are the same nuts that make the Butter Pecan variety so incredibly delicious!

The Plan: Pecan Pie for this Holiday Season

If you are into Pecan Pie, then you are going to love my favorite recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie – it’s sure to win the hearts of everyone who tastes it. For a fabulous pie ala mode, pair it warmed slightly with homemade vanilla ice cream or, better yet, Clemson’s Best Ice Cream’s Butter Pecan flavor, made with Yon’s Pecans in the mix. In North Carolina, Clemson’s Best Ice Cream is available at all Ingle’s Stores. In Charlotte, you’ll have to make a bit of a drive, but the end results are well worth the effort.

This Chocolate Pecan Tart is best made in a false bottomed French tart pan, but you can use a ceramic or glass pie pan, too. For a fun finish to the crust, use any of the tips and tricks in my recent Eye on the Pie post and enjoy!

Heidi Billotto’s Chocolate Pecan Tart

3 cups organic sugar 

pinch salt

7 Tbsps. unsweetened cocoa

4 large local farm eggs  

1 Tbsp. vanilla (or 1-2 Tbsp. of Oak City Amaretto)

12 ounces whole organic or local milk

1 stick butter, melted 

2-3 cups Yon’s Pecans pecan halves (be generous)

Dough for two pies fitted into two 10-inch French tart pans with removable bottoms

Carefully fit the dough into each of the French tart pans, trimming edges to fit. Place each on a baking sheet. Mix sugar, salt, and cocoa together. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and milk; stir into the dry ingredients. Add melted butter and stir until well blended. Fill each pie shell two – thirds full with pecan halves. 

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In making Heidi’s Chocolate Pecan Pie Tart, generously fill the pie shell with pecan halves.

Pour filling over the pecans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. If you are taking your tart to-go, transport them  in the pans and then removed on site for easy serving.
Makes 2 pies.

Pecan Bread Pudding with a Knock-Your-Socks-Off Whiskey Sauce

I’ve been making bread pudding for years, its quick, its easy and it easily goes from sweet to savory. Today I present it as a dessert – one everyone seems to love. The bread you use really doesn’t matter so much. The key for me is local eggs and local milk or heavy cream; and of course, fresh locally grown pecans. Use Yon’s Pecans raw halves or the sugared variety – both work exceptionally well.

Parchment and Butter for the pan

1-2 loaves white, potato or egg bread to equal about 6 cups or torn bread

4 local eggs

1 cup sugar

2 cups local milk

2 1/2 cups halved or chopped Yon’s Pecans

Generously butter a 13×9 inch baking pan. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper that goes up and slightly overlaps the sides and butter the paper as well. Reserve. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, blending well till the sugar dissolves. Add the milk and stir to mix. Tear the bread into small pieces. Add to the egg mix. Fold in the pecans. Allow the bread, milk, egg and pecan mix to sit for 20 mins or so. Pour into the buttered casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes

For the Whiskey Sauce: Make a roux with 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. flour. Stir cook until all of the flour is dissolved into the melted butter. Add 2 cups heavy cream; stir until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add 1-2 cups of your favorite whiskey.

For a non alcoholic version, add 1-2 cups freshly brewed coffee. Stir till blended.

To serve: Spoon the pecan bread pudding into individual serving dishes and pass the whiskey sauce for friends and family to help themselves.

Gluten Free Pecan Brownie or Blondie

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This is my go-to gluten free brownie or blondie recipe. Its delicious with made with Yon’s Pecans but if you really want up the flavor profile, substitute Yon’s Pecan stuffed dates instead – oh my. To make these Pecan Blondies, brownies, add 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder to the flour mix.

6 local eggs, well beaten

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/3 cups Almond Flour

1/2 cup butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1/2 cup Yon’s Pecans, Yon’s Sugared pecans, or Yon’s pecan stuffed dates, chopped fine

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Chop Yon’s Pecans, Yon’s Sugared pecans, or Yon’s pecan stuffed dates in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Blend the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Beat until well blended and the sugar has dissolved. Blend in the almond flour a third of a cup at a time. Blend in the cocoa if your want your blondies to become brownies. Stir in melted butter, vanilla and the chopped pecans or pecan stuffed dates.

Pour into 9×13 parchment paper lined pan. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Lift the rectangle of brownies out of the pan, using the parchment paper. Cool slightly; then cut off the edges. (These are for the cook to enjoy later on)

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Nothing like a pecan blondie or brownie topped a la mode with Clemson’s Best Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Cut the brownies or blondies into squares and top with Clemson’s Best Butter Pecan Ice Cream.

With Thanks…

The Nut House & Country Market is owned and operated by Yon Family Farms, specializing in fresh, locally grown pecans, homemade gourmet pecan candy, and delicious pecan pies. Their homemade pecan treats are made with pecans from their own orchards in Ridge Spring, South Carolina. Order online, or visit The Nut House and Country Market for pecan pralines, roasted and spiced pecans, pecan stuffed dates, white and dark chocolate pecan clusters, and pecan brittle. The Nut House is open Monday – Saturday 10-5pm.

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