A couple of years ago I bought a home in Virginia that had a walnut tree in the back yard. My wife bought me a walnut cracker so that I could extract the nuts. (It was not a very good cracker.) Took too long and cracked into many pieces. But it was a start.
I started to look around for another cracker. I found one called “Grampa’s Goodie Getter” It was great. I could crack black walnuts and get big pieces many of them 1/4’s of the nut and often 4 – 1/4 nuts.
This year I started to gather Black Walnuts in earnest. I must have collected about 10,000 so far, and I’m about to give up. 2 years ago it would take about 120 nuts to fill a 1 pint jar (they were small). This year it’s averaging about 60-70 nuts to fill the 1 pint jar. If you divide the 70 into the 10,000 you will see that I will have a lot of jars to buy.
What’s interesting is that you can leave the nuts uncracked for many years and they don’t go bad. I can them so I don’t have to refrigerate them or freeze them.
Where I am for this entry is I made Black Walnut bars with ground Black Walnut crust. 2 cups for the crust and 1 1/2 cup for the filling. I found the recipe on the web from a lady that lives in Southern Missouri, “The Black Walnut Capital of the world.” The people collect them and sell them to Hammond Nuts for their Christmas Money. I collect them for myself and gifts to the family and friends.
In my taste test they were fantastic and I will make them again except I’ll probably use pie crust. Graham Cracker crust would probably distract from the walnut flavor, whereas the pie crust would be a neutral taste. The recipe was for Walnut Pie, but it was so rich that I made it into small bars instead.
We always said “No pictures, didn’t happen” I forgot to take a picture before the party got started, so you only get to see half the pan.
Wood is good
Very nice are you giving out free samples by any chance they look yummy?
David, I can send you a copy of the recipe if you send me your email address. And yes they were yummy.
Jim thanks for the comment
Wood is good
WOW! Does that look good! Your nutcracker is really quite a contraption and makes me want to have one, but we don’t get that many walnuts here. Sometimes there are walnuts on the road not too far from us. We have a bunch of them still uncracked from some years back. We wore ourselves out trying to crack them and finally quit.
We know this is a woodworking site, but we’re wondering if you might share with us your method of canning them.
One last thing, how about sharing a link to the recipe?
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
Canning the walnuts are as simple putting them on a cookie sheet in a 180 degree oven. After about 30 minutes I stir them up and back into the oven. After about 90 minutes I tast them to make sure they don’t have any moisture.
I then spoon them into mason jars that were in the oven for at least part of the time to heat them up
Fill the jar and put on the lid some-what tighly but not locked down. The air in he jar escapes as it gets hot and after about 15 minutes I take them out and tighten the lid. They then vacuum seal as they cool down. Any not sealed become the first ones to be eaten.
I’vr got some jars over 2 years canned and the nuts are as fresh as when I first canned them. No spoilage.
Wood is good
Another side note. Instead of putting them in an oven, I’ve also put them in my pellet smoker BBQ. It has a temp gauge and I can set it for low which is suppose to be less than 200 degrees. I smoke them for the amount of time 90 to 120 minutes and then can them. I love the smoked flavor. My wife not so. But both are great. I keep a jar on my desk and when I see it I take a few to munch on.
Black Walnuts are suppose to be ver-r-ry good for you.
Wood is good