PECAN BUTTERMILK FUDGE

by Ron Van Harten

Pecan Buttermilk Fudge ~ this creamy white fudge has got a sweet tangy flavor like nothing else I’ve ever tasted.  I highly recommend you try this unique treat, you won’t be disappointed.

I got very excited when I took my first bite of this fudge.  I really didn’t know what to expect, and was a little bit skeptical that it was going to be anything to write home about.  After one bite I was already planning to make this for all my holiday food gifts this year.  It’s so unusual but not in a kooky crazy sort of way ~ just the right balance for a special holiday treat.

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The flavor is creamy and rich like a traditional fudge, but the buttermilk gives it a super addictive tang.

This fudge has the same decadent ‘mouthfeel’ as regular fudge, but somehow isn’t as overpoweringly rich.  There’s no chocolate, white or regular, in it at all, which blows my mind…the flavor comes straight from the pecans and the buttermilk.  The little hint of salt finishes off the flavor perfectly.

What is buttermilk?

Buttermilk is the liquid that is leftover from making butter.  It ferments and becomes thick and tangy.  Contrary to what you might think, buttermilk is lowfat and very healthy.  Think drinkable yogurt.

Where can I find buttermilk?

You’ll find it right in the supermarket along with the other milk and cream products.  It’s usually on an upper or lower shelf.

Can I make buttermilk?

You can, in a few different ways.  The most common way is to add 1 tablespoon of acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, to one cup of milk.  You can use this in baking recipes like biscuits and pancakes, etc., that call for buttermilk.  But for this fudge you want ‘cultured’ buttermilk like you buy at the store.  For cultured buttermilk you’ll need to buy Buttermilk Starter Culture, which you can buy on Amazon here .  You’ll mix it with milk and then let it sit in a warm place, much like making yogurt, until it thickens.  You can save some of your homemade buttermilk to make batch after batch, it’s super cool.

Fudge is one of my favorite food gifts to give during the holidays, it’s easy but is always so appreciated.  People don’t tend to make fudge for themselves, and so it’s always a really welcomed treat.

Fudge packs easily, just be sure to keep it chilled when not in transit.  I like to pack my pecan buttermilk fudge up in kraft candy boxes .  Add a ribbon and a tag and you’ve got a really nice gift, and it’s a good bet the recipient has never had it before.

Homemade fudge is one of those happy recipes that comes out just as good as the candy shop stuff, and is so easy to do.  All you need is a candy thermometer to keep accurate track of the temperature of your fudge mixture.  Candy making relies on precise chemistry to work, and exact temperatures are key to creating the sugar crystals that give fudge its characteristic texture.  Luckily all you need is one simple tool to make the magic happen.

Pecan Buttermilk Fudge

Pecan Buttermilk Fudge ~ this creamy white fudge has got a sweet tangy flavor like nothing else I’ve ever tasted.  I highly recommend you try this unique treat, you won’t be disappointed.Coursecandy, DessertCuisineAmericanPrep Time10 minutesCook Time20 minutesrefrigeration2 hoursYield 16 squares Calories 168kcal

Equipment

  • 9×5 loaf pan
  • clip on candy thermometer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt

garnish

  • sea salt for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F Line a 9×5” loaf pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving long edges hanging so you can lift the chilled fudge out later for cutting.
  • Put the pecans on an un-greased baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until you can smell their aroma. Let them cool first, and then rough chop them.
  • Put the sugar, buttermilk, butter, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan and heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter is melted.
  • Attach your thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer/low boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thermometer reaches 238F, this can take anywhere from 8 to 15 or more minutes, depending on your pan and your stove. Be patient.
  • Once the mixture has reached the correct temperature, Immediately pour it into a medium bowl and, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until cool and thickened (it will be thick and matte), 5–8 minutes.
  • Stir in the nuts. Turn the fudge into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Refrigerate the fudge for at least 2 hours before removing from the pan and cutting into small squares.


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