Pray for my Pralines
December 18, 2008 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Help me salvage these pralines...

I just made a huge batch of pralines by following this Paula Deen recipe. And when I say a really huge batch, I mean a really huge batch (over eight cups of pecans mixed into a doubling of the recipe). After searching the web and Metafilter, I've now found out why they are not setting up (previously) - the humidity is hovering around 88% here in Alabama tonight.

Help! I've got around thirty saucer sized pralines resting on parchment paper as I type this...Will these things ever set-up? Is there anything that I can do to salvage them?
posted by cinemafiend to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
This person makes it sound as if you could just let them hang out and they'd eventually set.

But, just in case they don't, maybe getting a fan blowing in the room would move the air around enough to give a break in humidity?
posted by batmonkey at 8:29 PM on December 18, 2008

Just a heads up for future praline-makin', you really shouldn't double the recipe. Ever.

If you wait long enough, they'll set. If, for some reason they don't, scrape all of it into a jar and you'll have delicious ice cream topping.
posted by banannafish at 8:35 PM on December 18, 2008

I don't claim to know anything about pralines other than they're touchy, and I have read you shouldn't double the recipe. Just based on the chemistry, anything with a lot of sugar in it is usually touchy, like that white floofy C'mas candy I'll go try to look up in a minute which also won't set up in high humidity.
If that was my problem and it didn't resolve by itself, I'd be tempted to take a small sample and rewarm it in the microwave and do that on a drier day, and see if it changes your luck. If all else fails, you could use the internet to find a recipe for microwave peanut brittle, and see if you can find one that has pretty similar ingredients and then wing that on a small sample. I wouldn't mention either option if it were not for the price of pecans, which is outrageous. But yeah, if it does't work out, call it ice cream topping.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 10:11 PM on December 18, 2008

Divinity is the sugar/egg white stuff that goes way wrong if the humidity is too high. Thank you for holding.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 10:16 PM on December 18, 2008

Well, I would take a small amount and remelt it. Then try whipping it longer to see if you can get it to crystalize. I don't think this is going to work but, with a small test amount, it really doesn't matter.

This is what I would do. Make a batch of brownies that bake up thin. slowly remelt/reheat the praline. Pour it over the brownies. You could also spread the remelted praline between chocolate cake layers.

I don't think it'll work to do brittle due to the fat content, the lack of soda, and that brittle sugar is cooked to a higher temp at the outset. unrepentanthippie is right that candy recipes are very touchy and doubling can throw things off.

If it makes you feel better, I always fuck up my pralines and give out gifts of accident penuche. Oh well. I guess I just like whipping things!
posted by Foam Pants at 2:06 AM on December 19, 2008

This happened to my dad last year, and he ended up just sandwiching them between bits of parchment paper and presenting them that way. If you put them that way in a box or tin, it could even look like you meant to do it.

They were really delicious, more like a fudge.
posted by MsElaineous at 4:28 AM on December 19, 2008

MsElaineous' suggestion of sandwiching makes me wonder if it'd be good between 'Nilla Wafers or sugar cookies?
posted by fiercekitten at 9:46 AM on December 19, 2008

Update - almost 24 hours later and the pralines are setting up! I just need some patience and a day with less humidity. Thanks to all who have replied.
posted by cinemafiend at 2:28 PM on December 19, 2008

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