Firstly, let’s get the pronunciation out of the way. It’s: PRAW-LEANS. The nut is a pray-lean. But that fantastic, caramel fudgey and nutty candy; that’s a praw lean. And it’s all over my beloved south.
For a wedding anniversary, my husband and I spent a week in Kiawah Island. I must tell you, next to our trip to France..this island is our favorite spot. The resort is called The Sanctuary and the Sunday brunch..no joke, those pralines are hard to beat.
But I think I just might have!
The trick to perfecting pralines is the technique. Most recipes are the same; butter, sugars and heavy cream. I’ve found the way to get them not grainy and easy to form.
• 2 cups brown sugar
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 5 TB unsalted butter
• 1/4 tsp cream of tarter
• 1/2 tsp salt
In a food processor, pulverize the sugars, salt and cream of tarter. Make sure there are no clumps of brown sugar left. Then add that to a medium sized pot with the cup of cream. Start out on high heat, stirring the ENTIRE time until it starts to boil. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to med low, and let it cook undisturbed until a candy thermometer reads about 138 degrees.
While this is boiling, set up your candy shop. Take cupcake liners and line them with crushed pecans. Just sprinkle enough in each cup to cover the bottom. You will need about 24.
Once your candy is heated to 138, remove from heat, add butter and vanilla and allow it to cool until 120 degrees. Once cooled, start beating with a hand held mixer until it starts to thicken like frosting. I stick a spoon in it to test, and if it coats the spoon with very little dripping.. then it’s ready. Now work fast! Drop spoonfuls of the fudge into each cupcake liner. If it starts to get to hard, just add a few drops of water to loosen it up enough to finish.
And having the helper, well, that’s optional.