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.