This past Thanksgiving we headed out on a 10 hour trip to visit my in-laws in East Texas. They live in a little town between Longview and Tyler called Daingerfield. You truly know you are a city girl when you are in East Texas. You have to drive somewhere to get anywhere, but it is such a treat to get to spend a few days on their ranch that you pretty much want to go nowhere while you’re there. (Especially the ER on Thanksgiving with Hunter for a completely rando food allergy, but a couple hours and a big dose of liquid steroids later, that little cowboy was back in action.) I never knew much about pecans until I met my husband. With his parents’ GORGEOUS pecan orchard, we get to see the pecans in every stage of their formation and I really have a true appreciation for that nut! Pecan harvests are only every other year and this year happened to be their harvest at Oxbow Ranch. First and foremost, the trees are STUNNING!!! So stunning in fact that we have had Aunt Wendy (the most talented photographer I know) of Wendy Hardin Photography, take our family Christmas picture in the orchard. I borrowed this excerpt from Wikipedia:
“A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. The husks are produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower, while the part known as the nut develops from the endocarp and contains the seed. The husk itself is aeneous, oval to oblong, 2.6–6 cm (1.0–2.4 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.2 in) broad. The outer husk is 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) thick, starts out green and turns brown at maturity, at which time it splits off in four sections to release the thin-shelled nut. Pecan trees may live and bear edible seeds for more than 300 years.”
This year the orchard had it’s harvest, so it’s safe to say that we enjoyed LOTS of pecans while we were there. Drew’s mom made DELICIOUS candied pecans (I will share the recipe a little later) and a pecan pie for Thanksgiving and sometimes we just picked them up right off the ground and cracked ’em open. Wendy talked about a pecan cobbler that she had recently at a restaurant in Nashville, so I decided I would do a little recipe research and come up with my own version. This is truly a sticky sweet dessert, but OH SO GOOD!!!!!!
A sticky sweet dessert served best with vanilla bean ice cream!
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (I used light bc that's what I had on hand)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup oat flour (1/2 cup dry oatmeal processed to a fine powder)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup cold water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 glass dish with cooking spray.
- In a stand mixer, lightly beat eggs. Add butter, syrup, sugar, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Pour 1/3 of mixture into bottom of greased dish. Add pecans to remaining mixture to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl add flours and salt. Cut in butter in pieces with a fork until combined and grainy dough forms.
- Add cold water a little at a time until a pliable dough forms.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to an 8x8 square.
- Place crust on mixture in dish. Pour remaining pecan mixture over crust.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until center is set. Let cool 20 minutes.
Gorgeous pecan orchard!!!
Early stages of the pecan.
Ready to fall from the tree!
Drying out and ready to crack!!!
Our first family Christmas card picture in the pecan orchard.
This year wasn’t so fun with a rather unhappy and uncooperative toddler!