The Walnut Tree Company
Potash Farm

Pickling Walnuts

These seem to appeal particularly to English tastes.

Recipe from Cooking With Walnuts by Ann Olley

What You Need:

  • 4 oz/110g cooking salt
  • 1 lb/450g green walnuts
  • 3pts/1.8 litres red wine vinegar (or half vinegar and half inexpensive port)
  • 1 oz/25g fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 oz/25g allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons malt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

Method (3 weeks):

  • To make pickling green walnuts worthwhile it is usual to use at least 3lbs/1.35kg of walnuts.
  • These must be picked green from the tree before any inner shell has begun to form. To test the nut, cut a small slice from the blossom end. There should be no sign of brown ring denoting the shell forming. How many jars you produce will depend on the size and also the shape of the nuts. Different varieties of tree will produce nuts of varying size and shape. Recipes can be adapted to suit your taste as some people prefer a sweeter liquid mix than others.
  • Make a brine from 2oz/50g salt dissolved in 1pt/600ml water. Put the nuts in a large glass or stainless steel bowl and cover with the brine. Leave in the brine for a week but stir daily.
  • Drain the liquid away and repeat for another week in brine made with the remaining salt.
  • Drain and rinse the nuts and expose to the air until they are black all over, which may take a week or more.
  • Steam the nuts for six minutes then cool.
  • Pack into clean, dry jars, preferably with wide necks.
  • Into a sauce pan put the vinegar, port if used, sliced ginger, allspice, malt and sugar.
  • Boil the mixture for ten minutes and pour over the nuts
  • Agitate the jars to expel any air bubbles and leave to cool. Cover with vinegar proof lids and store in a cool, dark place for three months before using.
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