The shelled walnuts need to be kept in the fridge otherwise the oil in the nuts will eventually turn rancid. We have tried other ways to store walnuts, including drying in a low oven and using a dehydrator but this way seems to work best.
The other thing we do is to pickle walnuts, a traditional Christmas-time accompaniment. Angela, the noted designer of Nativity play costumes, among many other accomplishments, spotted pickled walnuts among my list of preserves yesterday, and asked how to pickle them. Here is what we do which works very well for us. We can't remember where we sourced the recipe but we can vouch for its efficacy.
The key thing is to use immature walnut fruits that are still green, before the hard nut has developed. For us this is sometime in June. A pin can be used to test to see if the inside is still soft.
- 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
- Prick the walnuts with a fork and cover with water and the salt.
- Leave for a week, then drain and renew with a fresh brine solution for another week.
- Drain the walnuts and lay out on trays in a dry, airy place. After a few days they will have turned black.
- 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.
- Leave for a year.
|A jar of pickled walnuts opened today|