Monday, June 20, 2011

Pickling walnuts - part 1

I don't actually like pickled walnuts, but we do have friends who do, so if you are reading this, guess what you are getting for Christmas!

Pick walnuts while very young and green, before the shell has formed within the green outer skin, so normally before the end of June.

You will soon know whether they are too advanced because you won't be able to prick them through the shell.

Start by rinsing the walnuts clean.

Then kit yourself out with some rubber gloves and a steel BBQ spike or a long tined fork.

Prick each walnut a couple of times at least, quite far in.  If the shell has started to form you won't be able to force the skewer in further than about 5 mms, and they won't pickle.

Don't be deceived by the clear liquid that seeps out.  It will stain your fingers a most interesting nicotine colour if you don't wear gloves!

Mix up a brine solution of one part salt to six parts water and pour over enough to ensure the walnuts are fully covered.

Weigh the walnuts down with a plate to keep them all immersed, then cover and leave for a week.

The best thing about these plastic bowls is the plastic lids.  I can just write the instructions on the lids and tuck the bowls away in the back of the pantry.

As per the instruction on the lid, after a week, make up a new brine solution and leave for a second week. 

Stay tuned for the next installment in pickling walnuts!

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