Green walnut jam + a cheese board

Are you sick of hearing about my holiday and what a lovely time I had? Well, if the answer is yes, too bad. Here comes another post 🙂

[Baby hazelnuts! Not ripe for the picking just yet.]

Whilst in the Nannup area, we also had a fun opportunity to visit Fontanini’s fruit and nut farm. While most of their produce was not in season, little did they know that I knew that green walnuts are a thing! A wonderful, delicious thing.

They were generous enough to let us roam free around the farm and pick our own bounty. And so we did. We roamed. We touched. We smelled. We photographed. And then we landed next to them walnut trees and we picked.

I don’t often make traditional recipes from my home country. But …. how often does one stumble upon green walnuts?! Like, maybe never. So this jam simply had to happen.

Have you ever had green walnut jam? I venture to guess that the answer is no. In which case….how do I describe thee? It’s unlike any other jam I have tried. It is sweet, duh. And thick – sticky syrup style. The walnuts stay firm, yet also soft and chewy. But not mushy. The flavor is kind of like burnt caramel, with perfumed hints. It’s not a very nutty tasting jam. Green walnuts have a perfumed scent before they ripen.

This jam is gorgeous and perfect for a cheese board. Or on it’s own for a little after dinner sweet hit.

A little bit about this jam. Working with green walnuts is fiddly. First, because they’re tiny, so expect for peeling to take about 20 minutes. Use this time to …. meditate 🙂 Second, because they stain (hands, clothes and what not), so I definitely recommend you wear gloves. That being said, SO worth it. It’s a little jar of exquisite gourmet happiness.

For your cheeseboard, make sure you have:

  • vegan cheese and beautiful crackers
  • crisp vibrant veg like heirloom carrots
  • cherry tomatoes and herbs
  • olives
  • sharp, tangy fruit
  • something sweet – like this walnut jam 🙂

Green walnut jam

Makes a small 200ml jar

Ingredients

  • 300g green walnuts, skin removed -remove all the green bits, until you reach the softer white center (it’s about half a centimeter, but this depends on how big the green walnuts are) + enough water to cover
  • 250g coconut sugar
  • pinch vanilla essence
  • 150ml water
  • juice of half a small lemon

Steps

  1. Peel and prep the green walnuts. As you peel them, add them to a small glass container with water.
  2. When you finish peeling them all, cover the glass container and place it in the fridge overnight. Make sure there is enough water to cover the walnuts. I did not include a specific amount because this will depend on the size and shape of your container.
  3. Next day, drain and rinse the walnuts.
  4. Add 150ml water to a small-medium pot on medium heat, with the coconut sugar and vanilla and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and let it slowly simmer for 45 minutes. Occasionally stir and make sure the syrup doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the walnuts to the pot and continue to simmer on low heat for another 40 minutes. Again, occasionally stir.
  7. Turn off the heat when the syrup has thickened and you are happy with the consistency.
  8. Allow to cool, then scoop the jam in a small jar and refrigerate until needed.
  9. Serve cold.
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