This historical fiction follows the fated “Titanic of the South”, the Pulaski steamship that sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1838, carrying some of the wealthiest residents of Savannah. Like many historical fictions I’ve read recently, this novel features a dual timeline that follows both the passengers onboard and a modern-day historian tracking down their stories. Honestly, I was tempted to just skip the present-day chapters. That storyline barely held my attention. As for the 1838 storyline, once it was revealed which characters survived and how, I also lost interest. All in all, not my favorite book.
The Savannah setting however, did inspire me to finally try my hand at some pecan pralines. I enjoy pralines but I’ve never gone to the trouble of trying to make them myself until now. It was a surprisingly simple process, assuming that you have a candy thermometer on hand.
Toasted Pecan Pralines
- 2 cups whole pecans
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Toast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the pecans on a sheet pan and toast for 10 minutes. Remove the pecans and set aside.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom over medium heat, add all of the ingredients (including the pecans) and stir.
Continue slowing stirring the ingredients as they heat until they are all combined into one syrupy liquid. Resist the urge to scrape the sides of the pan down, as that will add large crystals to your pralines.
Stop stirring and watch the candy thermometer. Once the liquid reaches somewhere between 235 and 240 degrees, remove it from the heat.
Immediately whisk the mixture for about 45 seconds, then let it rest for 2 minutes.
Using an ice cream scoop, quickly scoop out 15 – 20 pralines on the cookie sheets. They will be ready to eat as soon as they cool (roughly 10 minutes).