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Old 11-23-2012, 04:41 AM
Status: "Never have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Default Are pecans and walnuts interchangeable in recipes?

I could swear I bought a big and expensive bag of pecans for my holiday cooking but i couldn't find it anywhere so I had to use walnuts instead. I've often wondered what the real difference is in taste in any baked recipe. I wanted the pecans for a cranberry-orange relish which was not cooked. It turned out really yummy with the walnuts.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Almost Paradise
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We prefer walnuts so that's all I use in recipes.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Central Midwest
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I have always found that either tastes good. I prefer the taste of pecans but walnuts will do.

I think the exception to that is black walnuts - some recipes just don't taste right if black walnuts are used. I have several black walnut trees in my yard. What a dirty job to get those nuts open and out. The stain is almost impossible to remove from your hands - and if you get it on the bottom of your shoes YIKES
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:22 PM
 
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The main diference is that pecans are sweeter and walnuts have that faint tang to them. It's not so faint if you use black walnuts, of course. You can substitute walnuts for pecans even in pecan pie. (Or you can even use rolled oats, believe it or not!)

I never heard of using any nuts at all in cranberry relish. What is your recipe?
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:01 PM
Status: "Never have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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12 oz cranberries, 2 peeled oranges, 1 cup sugar all mixed in food processor then I put in about a half cup of broken up nuts. At first it was rather watery but after it sat awhile I think the nuts absorbed the juice and it's now better. of course a little goes a long way and I will probably have to throw it away at some point as we each eat only 1 or 2 T at each meal. depending on sweetness of oranges you may need more sugar. next time I make it I will half the recipe.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
12 oz cranberries, 2 peeled oranges, 1 cup sugar all mixed in food processor then I put in about a half cup of broken up nuts. At first it was rather watery but after it sat awhile I think the nuts absorbed the juice and it's now better. of course a little goes a long way and I will probably have to throw it away at some point as we each eat only 1 or 2 T at each meal. depending on sweetness of oranges you may need more sugar. next time I make it I will half the recipe.

Mmmmm, thanks! My tip for using up cranberry relish is to make sandwiches out of it. Take 2 big slices of leftover ham or turkey to serve as bread, and use the relish as the filling.

EDIT: And wear a bib! It shoots out at you.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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I haven't found a recipe yet where you could not use one or the other. However, it will definitely change the taste and sometimes changes the texture.

Often you can substitute filberts, too, or Brazil nuts, or almonds. Again, they will all be good, but the flavor will be different and sometimes it affects the texture.

Often times you can use peanuts or cashews, but that really changes the flavor and sometimes they don't work well.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Walnuts and pecans are similar enough to make an easy substitution either way. Pecans are a bit oilier and softer and sweeter tasting, walnuts have a bitter flavor note and are firmer.

Using other nuts, however, would fundamentally change a recipe, so you'd have to think your way through the necessary adjustments to make for flavor and texture.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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Store bought walnuts are quite bland and tasteless, so are pecans except for the softer texture. Similar enough.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
Store bought walnuts are quite bland and tasteless, so are pecans except for the softer texture. Similar enough.

So where do you get yours?
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