Here’s what came back from the pecan-crackers:
We are also in the debt of the Amish. A branch of our family has developed a long-standing relationship with an Amish community and they have a mutually beneficial friendship. The Amish get to come gather all the pecans they can carry off (I think about 800 pounds this year), and we get, well, we get a window to the past. A reality check. And the occasional pound of fresh butter.
And we learned how to can pecans.
1. Crack and shell pecans.
2. Spread the pecans in a single layer on baking pans and place in a 250 degree F. oven. Keep ’em in there until the pecans are dry and warmed through but not toasted. Watch them carefully–pecans scorch easily. They will change color very slightly–not browned but just a tinge of gray–hard to describe but you’ll see what I mean.
3. Immediately pack the hot pecans into dry, clean jars and screw down lids with rings.
4. Process in a hot water bath with the water only up to 1 or 2 inches below the tops of the jars–(if you fill them up any further they will bob around around like buoys) for 30 minutes.
You can also freeze pecans very easily by putting them in freezer containers or freezer bags and, you guessed it, putting them in the freezer. Some believe this negatively alters the taste and/or texture of the nuts but this is easily remedied by toasting them. I enjoy canning them to free up freezer space and reduce my dependence on the reliability of my electric company (bless their hearts).
Note: for high altitudes (above 1000 feet) and pressure canning instructions, see here.