Winter’s here- and with it comes the pecan nut harvest at Saragossa Game Reserve’s Farm. Blessed with our own pecan nut orchards, visitors know that the creamy and delectable pecan nut pie we offer at the restaurant is 100% homegrown- and utterly delicious. Today we spill some of the secrets of these often unappreciated members of the nut family, along with a tasty nut treat that will have you dying to get into the kitchen.
Pecan trees at Saragossa Farm
Visitors to Saragossa Game Reserve will likely recognise our pecan orchard as the perfect spot for an after-safari picnic. In summer and on clear winter days alike, they make a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing, intimate al fresco meal packed with tasty treats from our kitchens. They’re more than ornamental, however, although they have been known to help you take the best selfies possible too! June and July in South Africa see harvest time for the pecan, when the green husks open and drop the nuts, ready for collection by our orchard team- and delicious use in our kitchen.
What’s the deal with pecan nuts?
While the Almond, Walnut and Brazil nut may be better known as the Pecan nut, they really shouldn’t be. After all, the humble pecan is packed with nutritional goodness…think iron, zinc, selenium, potassium and much more. Add a dollop of heart-healthy oleic acid and antioxidants, digestive fibre and, of course, an incredible soft [almost smoky] taste and you’ll understand why we go a little nuts for the pecan. Remarkably for a nut, its smooth taste fits well with both cheeses and spirits like bourbon, so it makes a delectable snack on its own or paired with an after-dinner cheese board. Our favourite take on the pecan, though, is a classic ‘southern’ style pecan pie…perfect to pair with a little cream, ice cream and even a dollop of whiskey if you choose!
Saragossa’s famous pecan pie
Here’s a super-special treat for our blog followers…a sneak peek at what goes into our delectable pecan nut pie. You can use a pie crust of your choice [we’re not going to spill all our secrets] whether homemade or shop-bought, but a classic shortcrust is always amazing.
- 1 cup of corn syrup [light or dark]
- 1 packed cup of brown sugar
- ¼ tsp of salt
- ⅓ cup melted quality butter
- 3 lightly beaten eggs
- 1 ½ cup pecan halves [you can chop or leave halved per your taste]
- 1 tsp Vanilla [optional]
What to do:
Pop your oven on to 180’C while you blend the sugar, syrup, salt, butter and eggs together with a mixer until a silky-smooth mix is created. You can add a touch of vanilla if you like. Gently stir in the chopped pecans, and pour the blend into your pie crust. Bake about 1 hour until the filling sets. If the pie starts browning at the 40 minute mark, you can cover it to keep a light, crispy top texture.
Voila! You’ve recreated a little slice of Saragossa Game Reserve at home. Remember, our philosophy is that the ingredients make the dish, so be sure to pick the very best, farm-fresh ingredients for your Saragossa pecan pie to taste authentic.