The pecan tree is indigenous to North America and the nut it produces has a smooth shell, but an appearance like a long walnut inside. Like the walnut, it is high in omega 6 fatty acids. Also called hickory nuts, pecans are best-known as the main ingredient in pecan pie, but can be used in many other baked goods. They go particularly well with chocolate and are a good addition to chocolate brownies, chocolate and pecan pie or chocolate and pecan cookies.
Why not add the chopped nuts to a crumble topping or to a streusel topping on a date cake? Loaf cakes are also ideal for this nut for example banana and pecan loaf, carrot and pecan loaf or parsnip and pecan loaf. Add them to muffins and tray-bakes or try an American favourite, pecan tassies. The pastry is made using flour, cream cheese and butter and the filling has pecan nuts, eggs, brown sugar or maple syrup and vanilla extract. They are cooked in little patty or muffin tins. Pecan sticky buns are made with an enriched yeasted dough and look quite like Chelsea buns, but contain pecans, butter, sugar and cinnamon rather than fruit.
Fiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from the Leiths School of Food and Wine