The Type Of Pan You Should Use To Make Candied Pralines

Candied pralines have been popular in the U.S. for quite some time now, arriving by way of France in the 1700s. Young women who were sent to New Orleans to marry colonists brought with them their domestic skills, one of which was how to make candied pralines. But Southern Candymakers explains the pralines in France looked a bit different from their American counterparts.

French pralines were traditionally made with almonds, but the nuts were in short supply in New Orleans. The city of New Orleans is known for its pecan trees, so the American praline candy started being made with Louisiana pecans; still, these trees are also native to Georgia and Texas, which made candied pralines a popular confection in the South as well (via River Street Sweets). If you've only experienced pecans by way of a Thanksgiving pecan pie, you're in for a real treat if you decide to make the candy.

Life, Love and Sugar's basic praline recipe involves melting sugar, butter, baking soda, and heavy cream. Then, pecans, vanilla, and salt are added and stirred together to make a caramel-like candy. Like any candy, it can be a bit tricky to master at home, but luckily, there are some tried and true tips and tricks to master DIY candied pralines.

The pan makes all the difference

When making candied pralines, a few critical mistakes can ruin the entire dish. One avoidable mistake is to make sure you are using the correct pan. Southern Living suggests using a big, thick-sided, bottomed pot. The reason for needing a big pot or pan is that candy can triple in volume during the cooking process. You need space for the mixture to simmer without boiling over into a hot mess. Burns from boiling hot sugar are no joke, so the large pans ensure the mixture doesn't pop out and burn you. When it comes to stirring, a larger pan also allows more space between your arm and the candy mixture (via Southern Living).

If you're looking for a specific type of pan, a ceramic dutch oven, cast iron pan, or a large stainless steel saucepan would work. All of these large pans conduct heat well and provide even intensity, which is essential to candy making. It's also best to use a thermometer to make the pralines as it tells you exactly what temperature the mixture is and takes the guesswork out of it. Once you've got the correct supplies, all that's left to do is make it yourself.