Curried Pecans with Orange

The sweetness of the orange juice contrasts nicely with the slightly biting flavor of the curry, which in turn plays up the natural sweetness of the pecans. These are excellent when made with walnuts but just slightly sweeter and milder with pecans.

Don’t substitute prepared orange juice for the concentrate, which is stickier and stronger. Mango, pineapple, or orange sorbet makes a better substitute.

Makes 2 cups.

1 large egg white (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder, to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), to taste
2 cups raw pecan halves
¼ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the egg white in a large stainless steel bowl and whip until frothy. Whip in orange juice concentrate, curry powder, salt, and if desired, cayenne. Add the pecans and toss until completely coated. Add the sugar and toss again.

3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly colored and dried out, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the nuts with a metal spatula, sprinkle with the orange zest, and set aside to cool before serving.

If you’re sipping: They are superb with funky, sweet tropical drinks like Mai Tais and Sidecars. Not just for snacking: Try these with a bowl of butternut squash soup.

From Party Nuts! 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts That Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)