While the kiss of bourbon is completely optional, it does add to this dessert sauce. The Warm Pecan Praline Sauce with a Kiss of Bourbon, is a Southern staple, whether the application is for ice cream, crepes, bread pudding or cheesecakes. Although the pecan tree can be found throughout the South, it is the state tree of Texas where they grow in abundance. Additionally, add a pop of fine Texas bourbon such as Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon to enhance this sauce. However, if you don’t have access to this delicious combo, any good quality bourbon will work. If you wish to make it non alcoholic, just leave it out. The sauce will still be delicious and very satisfying.
If you don’t live in an area where fresh pecans are available (like many of my Aussie or European cooks and friends), use toasted and roughly crushed hazelnuts or roasted slivered almonds. Fresh roasted walnuts are also a good substitution. Whatever the situation, this sauce is very versatile and has many applications.
Warm Pecan Praline Sauce with a Kiss of Bourbon
- sheet pan
- 4-qt saucepan
- mixing bowl
- wire whisk or spoon
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- Storage container with tight fitting lid
- 1 cup pecans, halved, good quality
- 1¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp corn syrup, light or dark
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp bourbon, good quality like Balcones (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
Roast the Pecans
- Preheat an oven to 350°F/177°C. Spread the pecan halves in a single layer on a clean sheet pan. Place the pecans in the oven and roast for about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the oven and pour into a mixing bowl.
Making the Sauce
- In a 4-qt saucepan, add the brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter and corn syrup.
- Place over medium heat and simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the the mixture thickens slightly.
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract, bourbon (optional) and pecans. Stir to incorporate.
- After cooling, store in a clean air tight heat resistant container and reheat in a microwave or saucepan to loosen the sauce for use. Anything left over keep in the refrigerator.