Despite the fact that I’m 4th generation Australian, I feel a strong, quite emotional pull towards European life. Such a rich mosaic of culture, history and food, that Australia (despite it’s many fine qualities) somewhat struggles to compete with. Don’t get me wrong, life is pretty darn wonderful here… there’s a lot to love… and I won’t be moving anytime soon, however it doesn’t change the fact that at certain times of the year, things just seem a little out of kilter. It struck me the other day, as I was making up a batch of these maple-glazed walnuts, that it felt like a Christmassy thing to be doing, yet a good seven months need to be worked through before the silly season hits again.
So am I going a little loopy in being nostalgic for a life that’s not actually mine, or could it be that the DNA from generations gone by is so firmly imprinted within my body and mind? Regardless, I guess it is what it is… and walnut trees, wherever they may be in the world, will be harvested of their walnuts in autumn and THAT’S the time to be glazing them with maple syrup or honey or caramel, if you want them to be at their finest.
These gorgeous nuts were purchased, still in their shells, from our local farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago and were so delicious I bought another big bag of them last Saturday. This isn’t so much a recipe, as it’s oh so very simple, but I felt it worthy of mentioning all the same. They make a lovely accompaniment to either a glass of bubbly before dinner, or post dinner with a cup of coffee.
Maple Glazed Walnuts | Gather and Graze
- 1½ Cups Walnut Halves (Shelled)
- 60mls (¼ Cup) Maple Syrup
- ¼ Teaspoon Good Quality Salt (I used ‘Fleur de Sel’, though Maldon would be great too)
Heat a fry pan over medium heat and add the walnuts. Move them around the pan a little with a wooden spoon to ensure they heat up evenly and don’t darken too quickly on any one side. When they are hot, pour over the maple syrup and sprinkle the salt on top. Stir to ensure all of the nuts become coated with the syrup. After a minute or two, when the syrup has thickened and the nuts are a lovely golden colour, remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. When still warm to the touch, use the wooden spoon to lift the walnuts from the pan. Eat while warm if you like, or allow to cool to room temperature for a crunchier texture.
These are beautiful. I’ve only used sugar, never any other sweetener, but it’s such a smart thing to do! Did you know that trader joe’s sells bags of candied nuts? so silly.
It’s such an easy thing to do… and much more delicious when the nuts are freshly shelled and in season! Thanks for stopping by Mimi. 😊
I’ve never had nuts glazed with maple syrup but they certainly do sound delicious. I do hope that you were safe from the terrible storm that hit parts of your country.
Thanks so very much Karen for your kind thoughts… the weather has been pretty horrendous down most of the east coast of Australia over the past few days… the worst hit were along the actual coastline, so thankfully no leaking/flooding/damage to our home here in Canberra… just a very good soaking for the garden and drenched kids (and parents!) out playing soccer on the Saturday.
Glad to hear that. 🙂
Hi Margot, I’m gonna try this with honey. Maple syrup is just to costly over here. Thanks for the lovely post. Danny.
Hi Danny! I’m sure honey-glazed walnuts would be equally as yummy… be sure to let me know how they turn out if you give it a try. Hope you’re well my friend! Cheers, Margot
Yeah, I’d like to know how you’re competing in Eurovision! This year I didn’t even bother to check out the songs (apart from the winner after the show).
When I lived in Canonbury there was a massive walnut tree in a little park opposite – every late summer I’d go scavenging! But I still haven’t tried them before they ripen (like My French Heaven). Nor pickled, as they would in Georgia. I’ll go with Fae’s suggestion of chucking these in salads. Oh, just had samphire for the first time this year – delish!
We enjoyed watching Eurovision again this year – early start of 5am, which was made all the more enticing with waffles for all who got up… but still don’t understand the second run on for Australia to compete. Once, as a special thing to celebrate 60yrs is lovely (perhaps due to our somewhat cult following of the event) but that really should have been it.
I agree, Fae’s idea of scattering these over a salad is wonderful and something I’ll be trying sometime soon.
Never tried samphire before… How do you use it/cook with it?
Forgot to respond. 🙂 With samphire I pick through it (removing any tough bits) and blanch it (no salt added) for several minutes until al dente, refresh it and add it to potato salad instead of chives/spring onions. Nice with marrowfat peas and pan-fried broccoli with cold pasta – not suitable for the last couple of days as winter has arrived…back! Apart from that I still haven’t found any regional recipes.
Hi Margot, I was not born in Japan, but feel like it is my foundation and long for it a lot.
Little cumbersome to shell them, but fresh out of shells, walnuts are truly more delicious than ones come shelled in bags/bulk. I would sprinkle these flavorful walnuts over my salad. Yum! 🙂
Thanks Fae. There really are times when I feel like I was born on the wrong continent… and at times even in the wrong era! 😳
You’re right about the walnuts, takes a little while to shell them, but SO worthwhile for the end result… and I hadn’t thought of scattering these over a salad – what a great idea! xx
Fresh out of the shell they are amazing, sprinkled with a little salt, the Persian way, most delicious!
Sounds lovely too Poli! As does your Mum’s version with the egg white and salt. 🙂
The nuts are wonderful I never tried maple syrup to glaze nuts before and I can just imagine how good it is. Totally get the upside thing, thats how I feel 99% of the time.
Thanks Suzanne, it’s a relief to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. xx
Living life upside down is fun! Normal is so passe! Loved your post.
Upside down is my normal, so perhaps something of a mixture of fun and passé? 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving some lovely comments today. Cheers, Margot
Lovely to see you posting again, love the sound of these walnuts. There are so many variations for nuts with drinks out there aren’t there. I made some with Ethiopian Berbere and salt and caramelised, very nice with a cold class of sauvignon, my mum makes bags of almonds with egg white and salt, in the oven, crunchy and delicious and people cannot get enough of them. Lovely to read you again. Funny comments about life upside down, I can imagine how that must be.
Thanks Poli, it’s still a long time between posts unfortunately… just seem to keep finding other things to keep me busy/distracted these days. I’ve actually discovered a love of knitting chunky scarves – I came across some beautiful, soft baby alpaca yarn at a local wool shop and have been knitting madly ever since. Enjoying this new hobby through the winter-time… though my boys are a little horrified that Mum is knitting – they strongly believe you need to be an old lady to take this up! 😉 M.xx
Hi Margot – I know how it is Margot, there is a lot of other stuff to do other than writing posts, I have lots of photographs I want to share from botanical gardens – 2 in italy, 1 in the UK, I have cooked some interesting dishes and also am proud of my flowering plants, not big stuff, but stuff I would usually share at some point, especially the photos of plants, but no – too much work to do at the moment! Enjoy knitting – nice that your sons haven’t put you in the old lady category yet, remember when you were 10 and 30 seemed ancient? 🙂
I totally understand what you mean. I am so boringly Australian but I also feel the pull to other cultures and cuisines that we lack here. You can’t beat fresh walnuts – I remember having some straight from the shell in Tas a few years ago. What a revelation! I would be eating these by the handful x
I’m with you completely… such a revelation when you taste them fresh and straight from the shell. The whole family has been enjoying munching on these – both plain and glazed… though you can guess which ones disappeared the fastest! M.xx
PS. Have you given your cooking class yet? How did it go? So very excited for you. 💐
Margot, your nuts look and sound wonderful! This would be the perfect way to end a meal for me! I simply love this! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Awww, thank you Francesca! Hope you’re all well and enjoying the feeling of spring in the air… just a tiny bit envious! 😉
What a lovely post! I’ve always used white sugar to candy nuts, but never maple syrup. Brilliant!!!
Thanks so very much Mimi! This gives them a very light coating of sweetness, which along with the little sprinkle of salt makes them incredibly moreish.
I’m Aussie born and bred, but both my parents were English. I strongly believe in genetic memory. We went on a sentimental journey a few years back. While the area of London where my are roots are deep has changed enormously, I could easily live there, very easily. I’m a huge fresh walnut fan, we even had trees at one point. Candied walnuts fresh from the shell are delicious, love your method.
That’s reassuring to hear Sandra. I’ve yet to visit the parts of Cornwall (where my ancestors are from), but it will be interesting to one day find out if I feel that connection too.
I know your love of walnuts, after our wander around the markets last year… in fact I thought of you when I bought them. M.xx
Oh Margot, how good with a glass of bubbles would these be? They had bags of walntus at our markets the other day and now I think I will get me some and give this a whirl. Great post.
Thanks Lisa! They have a lovely balance of sweet and salty, which in my mind makes them perfect for either pre or post dinner snacking. Go grab some! 😋
An interesting thought about the European pull. My great,great grandmother was born in Australia, which makes me wonder if that’s why I follow so many Australian blogs.
I still have some walnuts picked from our tree last autumn, so I shall definitely try this recipe, even though it may seem an odd thing to do in spring.
Anne, how exciting to learn that your G-G-Grandmother was Australian – where did she live? I continue to live in hope that somehow we’ll swing a posting to the UK (or Europe), so that we can spend a few years immersing ourselves in life over there. How lovely it would be to come and buy a Christmas tree and some gin from you! 😊
Who knows, maybe you will get a posting here one day 🙂 My GGgrandmother lived in Adelaide.
How fabulous! That’s where I was born too, along with pretty much all of my Aussie ancestors. Who knows, perhaps our GG-Grandmothers were friends and took High Tea together in the Adelaide Arcade? 😉
Love this post Margot and this bowl of Maple Glazed Walnuts looks amazing, the perfect snack! :)xx
Thanks so much Linda. Only problem is that they disappeared in a flash! I’ll be making some more in the next couple of days. 😋
*smile* Bought some really good maple syrup a week or so ago: this is so easy and would make such a great evening snack whereby to watch Giro d’Italia, Eurovision [cult thing!] and Masterchef, now on atop one another late at night, that some walnuts will be bought: thanks! Know what you mean about Europe. Happily Australian for a lifetime I was born in the Baltics and spent my childhood there. The Giro bikers were in the Netherlands for three days over the weekend: and guess who went totally dewy-eyed seeing the pale green spring scene with fields of flowers all over and forests of deciduous trees coming into leaf: barely looked at fave cyclists 🙂 !
Ahh Eha… likewise watching the Giro and looking forward with unabated enthusiasm to Eurovision this weekend! Still a little confused as to how we have an entry, 2 years running no less, but not complaining as it makes it all the more exciting! These walnuts certainly would be the perfect snack for late night viewing. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Cheers, Margot
Methinks quite firmly that we do not ‘belong’ and have had quite a few ‘criticisms’ from Euro friends and blogfriends: I agree!! BUT, Dany Im is so darn good and glamorous and exotic to Europeans – now how are they going to vote: I have always watched for the politics . . . and the Estonian competence [too reserved and elegant this year as usual!!!] and can’t wait till Friday’s semi-final as both are in 1 🙂 !!! Must make those nuts by then . . . enjoy . . .