Tuesday, 24 July 2018

At Last!... A Picking and a A Pickling We Will Go!

 I have wanted to do this for years! Picking Walnuts and then pickling them! Unless you have access to a Walnut tree in July you're a bit stuffed. I haven't ever seen unripe walnuts for sale in any shop. We haven't had any Walnut trees to call our own, although we have been given a very small sapling. It's planted in the garden now and, if I'm still alive when it bears fruit I shall regard myself as extremely lucky. 
On walks along the dried up canal just a couple of hundred metres up the hill from the house (the Rigole d'Hilvern)... turn to the left at the top of the lane where it crosses the canal and it's the first tree on the right. I don't know how we've managed to miss it... but, in our defence, it is well tucked into a beech tree and sits under its branches - quite well hidden. As soon as I realised we had one almost on our doorstep... I looked up a recipe and, having found it, went out and picked what I hoped would be 2kilos to match the recipes ingredients...
How to pickle walnuts
Ingredients for 2kg pickled walnuts
  • 225g salt
  • 1 litre malt vinegar
  • 500g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

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  • 1. Prick the walnuts with a fork and cover with water and the salt - Stir to dissolve and create brine. I've cut the top and bottom off the walnuts I've used as I've noticed that in the shop bought ones I've eaten - I'm guessing this will help absorb the brine more readily. 
  • 2. Leave for a week, then drain and renew with a fresh brine solution for another week.
  • 3. Drain the walnuts and lay out on trays in a dry, airy place. After a few days they will have turned black.
  • 4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring them to the boil, add the walnuts and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and spoon the nuts into large jars and cover with the liquid. They should last for years. I can't wait for the results!

I've only just started this process and so have a few weeks to wait for the next development... I'll add more photo's as I proceed. I have lifted this recipe from 'The Field', erstwhile solid and well respected publication, and have no hesitation in recommending it to whoever reads this... And I hope they don't do me for copyright infringement!

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