It's green black walnut season. I don't know how people figured out you could use unripe walnuts in cooking, but I'm sure glad they did, and after you try making fermented green walnut molasses recipe, I think you will be too, even if you don't like the taste of black walnuts cracked from the shell.
Unripe black walnuts are pretty well known in the wild food community, and I think It's a pretty good bet that's mostly due to the popularity of Nocino, the Italian black walnut liquor (Vin de Noix is the French cousin that includes red wine in the maceration, and I actually prefer it to nocino. The recipe for my Vin de Noix is in my book).
In order to really appreciate the green walnut honey, it's useful to understand what things made with unripe walnuts typically taste like.
For both Vin de Noix and Nocino, the process goes like this: cut some green walnuts in half, then add them to a mixture of alcohol and spices, allow it to macerate (sit/marinate) for 30 days, then strain, mix with a sweetener, jar, and age to allow the tannins to soften, which takes a long time-6 months at the very least. Saying that the tannins are an obstacle is an understatement.
After you crack open a bottle of either walnut liquor, you'll have a reasonably mellow tipple. Nocino is firmly in black licorice-Jägermeister territory, Vin de Noix more of a sweet vermouth. But, as anyone who has handled an unripe black walnut knows, black licorice or Jägermeister couldn't be farther from what the young nuts smell like.
Pluck an unripe black walnut from a tree, or even pick one from the ground the tree has rejected (I usually avoid rejected green nuts for culinary purposes as they may be degraded on the inside) and the first thing you'll notice is an strong, toe-curling aroma of green citrus peels. I've smelled a lot of interesting things over the years, but the smell of the green nuts is one by far one of my all-time favorite scents.
Now, I like Nocino, and I probably like Vin de Noix a little more, but I would be lying if I said that every time I open a bottle I'm not a tiny bit disappointed that the exciting aroma of citrus so rich in the green nuts isn't noticeable at all.
I don't know why the aroma changes after a long sleep in alcohol, but it does, and for years I've been trying to figure out a way, any way at all, to capture the scent of the fresh nuts.
Story goes that a few years ago I was reading an old book, and, unfortunately, for the life of me I now can't remember what it was. I think it was from Ireland, or the U.K., but I could be wrong. Either way, in the preserves section, like many old books I've read from the 18-1900's (Housekeeping in Old Virginia being a great one) there were a number of preparations calling for green black walnuts. One of them was "Green Walnut Syrup". I made a note of the name in a file, and forgot about it for a few years.
Woodsy Flavor, reduced tannins
I didn't leave any notes on how the original syrup was made, but I have syrup macerations down to a science after making mugolio from every unripe part of every species of conifer tree part I can find in my area. If you're not familiar, naturally fermented syrups made from pine cones are a show-stopper, partly because they give you the unique aroma specific to the conifer species used, without the often terribly strong, astringent aftertaste you would get from chewing on a raw pine cone (side note, unripe cones of Pinus siberica and Abies balsamea are so mild you could almost munch on them raw as a snack).
Knowing how incredibly tannic green black walnuts are, I had a hunch that using the same proportions of sugar to unripe black walnuts that I use with pine cones and spruce tips to make mugolio might create a similar product: a thick, non-tannic black walnut syrup, hopefully with a whiff of the citrus aroma I'd been yearning to bottle up and contain since the first time I smelled it.
The finished product will have the taste of green citrus at first, but will mellow with time and develop into something all it's own. The big takeaway of this process, is that this is a way to extract black walnut flavor without having to age out the tannins, and that is pretty darn cool, even if the citrus aroma I've always dreamed of capturing mellows over time. That being said, there will be some tannins in the finished product, but it's nowhere near something like nocino that takes months and months to relax.
The process is exactly the same as for Mugolio. Take your green walnuts, cut them in half, then mix them with twice their weight in good, unbleached sugar, and put them in a container, preferably a glass mason jar so you can watch the show.
After only a day or two, the alchemy begins as the sugar coaxes out what seems an impossible rush of natural water from the green walnuts.
After just a few days, the walnuts will be swimming in liquid, and there will be visible bubbling as the mixture begins to ferment and bubble, pressurizing the contents of the jar and letting out a satisfying hiss when the lid is opened.
After at least 30 days, you scrape out the sugary walnut sludge into a pot, bring it to a boil, then strain, discard the walnuts, and bottle the syrup. Ah Viola.
How to use it
While the flavor is not as intense as mugolio, it's still fun. You could use the finished green walnut molasses anywhere you would use maple syrup, and it loves yogurt and creamy soft cheeses. I've also used it for baking in things like granola, which worked, and gave it a darker color.
There's one thing I'm excited about more than any other though, and it's part of what was pushing me to make this is and taste the finished product a bit early. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you may be familiar with the Ida Graves project-my collaboration with a local distillery in Alexandria Minnesota to create distinctly Midwestern liquors flavored with wild herbs and ingredients I harvest.
This will be our second year making wild spirits, and, as you may have guessed, nocino is one of them. One of my old chefs from Italy would sweeten nocino with white sugar, I've come to prefer maple syrup over the years.
The scheme I'm hatching here though, is that using black walnut honey to flavor nocino might just be the ultimate version: a study in the flavor of black walnuts only the forest can provide.
Black Walnut Molasses
- 1 lb (roughly 15-22) young unripe black walnuts or butternuts soft enough that they can be cut through with a knife
- 2 lb Brown sugar or Turbinado sugar
- Harvest unripe black walnuts directly from the tree. While it may be tempting to harvest walnuts that have already fallen, you will want to cut some of them in half to make sure they're pearly white and clean on the inside, without any spotting or deterioration. Wash the walnuts and reserve.
- Wearing gloves, cut the walnuts in half using a heavy knife, preferably on a cutting board you don't mind getting stained. Older recipes often mention crushing or pounding the unripe nuts, which you could also do, but beware of splattering juice.
- Mix the walnut with the sugar, then pack into a container that can accomodate the entire mixture. For the amount listed, you would want a half gallon mason jar.
- Allow the walnut-sugar mixture to sit at room temperature or outside for at least 30 days, and up to a few months, opening the jar occasionally to release carbon dioxide as the mixture will ferment. Shake or stir it occasionally to help it on it's way, which will coat the nuts in the fermenting syrup and help prevent mold.
Boiling, straining and storing
- After at least 30 days, scrape the sugary walnut sludge into a non-reactive sauce pot with high sides, bring the mixture to a brisk simmer to melt the syrup, turn the heat off, then strain out the walnuts using a slotted spoon. Discard the walnuts and thank them for their service.
Finishing and Jarring
- As the syrup cooks, it will begin to foam-a byproduct of the fermentation process. Chefs will skim this off, but it will subside and disappear as the syrup cools.
- With clean mason jars at the ready, bring the syrup back to a brisk simmer, turn off the heat and wait a minute or two for the foam to settle. Pour the piping hot syrup into the jars leaving ½ inch or so of headspace (the amount headspace is more to prevent sticky leaks than for safety as the syrup is very stable), screw on the lids tightly, then turn the jars upside down and allow to cool and seal. The syrup will last for years and doesn't need to be refrigerated until it's opened.
Can this be done successfully with pecans? No black walnuts in my neck of the woods.
Unripe green ones, possibly. I haven't tried it.
I have not tried this recipe but I may when I can.
The Nocino liqueur seems to me to be a cousin of the Ratafia which is a liqueur from the northeast region of Spain (Catalonia). This is made by many people at home or can bought from commercial producers. It is definitely made from steeping walnuts and other herbs in alcohol. I have never seen it any liquor store in the US.
I have not tried Nocino but I will search for it if I can find it in a liquor store.
Ratafia from Quince is also very good and easily made at home
This is further information about Ratafia. Please check the following page about the elaboration of Ratafia. The Ratafia Russet is actually made in my hometown of Olot. The information is in french but cab be easily translated using Google. I could not find it in English.
There is also information in Wikipedia.
Great info. Thank you!
Looking at that beautiful forest of Black Walnut trees, it looks to me as if wild grape is clambering up them. If so, the wild grape will become so heavy that it will weigh down branches enough to break them, Trees cannot heal sort of wound, so disease and rot can set in. You
Might want to take a bunch of friends and cut the vines off at the source. Love your recipes for unripe fruits. Thank you from Prince Edward County in Canada.
It is actually Virginia creeper, but lots of heavy vines can cause issues I'd assume.
In Eastern Europe people candy green walnuts. They are served in their syrup similar to your walnut honey. The Greek name is Glyko Karydaki, but I believe it’s popular from Greece to Russia.
Thanks for all the pleasure your blog has brought me.
Thanks Dave, there's actually a recipe for preserved walnuts in my book. I know it from Greece to the Caucuses, as you mention.
Could you use unpasteurized honey for this?
Yes but it will contain more water.
Does this work with English walnuts too? By the way, I first heard about preserved green walnuts in Hungary. After that, my cousin who lives in London told me that she has green walnut preserves as a Christmas treat. I have made both pickled (salted) green walnuts, and a sweetened preserve with them, both of which you eat the immature walnut. I am on my way to harvest English walnuts around the corner to try your recipe now.
I would assume it will work with English walnuts, but I haven't tried it myself.
This sounds great, I will try making it today (as a recent thunderstorm brought down a branch laden with green black walnuts just begging to be used.
I made Nocino a few times, and loved how dark it is. I decided to sweeten mine with a bit of maple syrup as an homage to the walnut tree’s “neighbor” (the maple tree is next to the black walnut tree in my yard)
Thanks Sarah, I've really been enjoying it.
Hi Sarah, I see the date on your post and noticed that I did the same thing. Probably same storm lol. I just canned mine today.
This recipe lit me up. I, too, love the scent of black walnuts and I'm fortunate to have four black walnut trees right out my back door, here in Milwaukee - two mature (beyond 75 ft) and two grown, literally, from seed, about half that. The branches on the smaller two are within reach, so the walnuts could enjoyably be picked by hand.
I set up an area out back to prepare the harvest and put together two mixtures: one with demerara and one with dark brown sugar. This morning, I noticed that the alchemy had already begun. The entire experience was so pleasurable; it stirred up feelings of how much I truly delight in being active in the out of doors, and for that I am grateful. Thank you, Alan.
Thanks Catherine. It's a fun edible science project. The syrup will tease you and hold the citrus aroma at first, but mellows to a nice, eerie walnut essence. I just sweetened my 2021 walnut wine with it and can't wait to taste it in the winter.
Great recipe! Lots of black walnuts where I live so I’ll have to try this. I was wondering if the same treatment would work with sassafras? Would the recipe still be two parts sugar to one part sassafras?
Can this be made with refined (white) sugar?
I have a Black Walnut tree growing in my yard & would like to try this recipe but I may be too late. The rinds aren't half as warty as yours in the picture. The aroma of them is amazing. Reminds me of a grappa I once had.
Do you think they'll still work?
OK, this was just shared with me and I'm intrigued with another use for green nuts. I've made the Croatian version of Nocinw (Orahovica) for a few years, and have some jars of pickled green walnuts I've made - all with English walnuts off trees in our garden. My Orahovica is made with a few coffee beans and a vanilla bean in the jar. This year I'm adding lemon zest for a change.
I'm hoping the nuts are still green enough to try the syrup. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
As long as you can cut through the nuts easily and the inner shell hasn't begin to form, you're fine.
they were a little brittle but I managed to hack through them 🙂 Going to sweeten this year's Orahovica with the resulting syrup.
I attempted to post earlier but apparently it didn't make it into the comments. I was asking if you had ever tried hickory nuts. Between that attempted post and now I "went to the woods" and have now started a batch of 3 pounds of walnuts (and a few butternuts thrown in) and a second batch of 2 pounds of hickory nuts, both batches at your 2:1 sugar :nut ratio. I found the butternuts to be much drier than the walnuts. Hickory were about at moisture laden as the walnuts. Fun experiment. Can't wait to try it in a few months.
I love the foraging but struggle with the cooking so this is a great web site for me. I tried the walnut honey and now there is mold growing on the top, any ideas on what went wrong?
Craig, did you weigh the ingredients? If you used very large walnuts they could stick out a bit. Just pick the mold off and make sure to stir the liquid as it ferments. Eventually it will be rock solid and very stable as the pH lowers.
After about 2 weeks I noticed mould growing on the top of my walnut honey.
Should I be storing it in the dark? How else can this be prevented?
Thanks for asking Michelle, so, I address this in the recipe method. You want to make sure to stir it occasionally which will cost the nuts in syrup as it ferments and help ward off mold. Pick the mold off and discard, I’m assuming it’s simple white mold, which is harmless, especially as the syrup will be heated after macerating, which will kill any baddies.
I started a batch of this maybe 20 days ago or so, and I'm starting to see some mold on the top.... I did a bunch of googling and it looks like a) botulism can't grow in high sugar concentrations and b) boiling kills mold spores. Can I save it by skimming off any visible mold and making sure to boil the crap out of it at the end of the month? I was REALLY excited about this and was planning to use it in the nocino I have going, but I don't want to poison myself or any friends. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, I've been enjoying your book a lot 😉
Pamela, yes, it’s fine. If you don’t stir it regularly to coat the nuts with the fermenting syrup you might get a little harmless white mold. Just pick it off, remember to agitate the jars and stir next time. Bringing it to a boil will sterilize it.
Been cracking walnuts for decades now but new to the honey and nocino life and have a question...how come these end products don't stain (assuming they won't?) Does the staining compound (whatever that may be) break down somehow even as the color deepens? Ty for the recipes, bought your book!
Thanks for grabbing the book Billy. So yeah, the blackening, discoloration you'll get with fresh, green walnuts is denatured through the maceration process in both of these recipes. It won't stain your hands, a plate, or most other things.
Just canned a batch that I let sit for 35 days. Wow, the flavor and aroma is incredible! Thank you for sharing! This will make a killer old fashioned.
Just strained and bottled mine! It smells delightful and tastes even better. I wish I had collected more green black walnuts but now I know for next year. Looking forward to adding this to coffee, cocktails, and more. Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂
Glad it worked for you.
I just cooked down my 1st batch. It's a good taste for black walnuts. Mine turned to the consistency of soft caramel as soon as it started to cool. Is that what's to be expected? I'm wondering if I might have heated it too long. I have two more batches to cook but am spacing them each a month apart to see how the flavor changes with more fermenting time. Am loving your book! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Mary. Yes you may have cooked it a little too long. Just bring it to a simmer and melt the sugar, then strain. You can add the more firm honey to the next batch you cook.
All 3 of my batches turned into a crystal-textured paste after they cooled. After the first noted above, the other two were cooked as the recipe instructed, The flavor is nice though. I used the small nuts as recommended and Sugar In The Raw, all weighed with a scale. I'm scratching my head as to what made mine different; the recipe is so straightforward. I'd like to try again next year to create a syrup but would appreciate any thoughts to achieve a better end product. I have access to trees with low branches that make picking the nuts super easy 🙂
Mary, you likely cooked it too long. Just bring it to a simmer and get everything hot enough to melt the sugar. Sugar in the raw will have less moisture than brown sugar too, just something to keep in mind. If your nuts were very small, they could also have less liquid natural liquid. Put it back into a pot and add some extra water to refresh the consistency. Sugar in the raw is more prone to crystallization naturally too, but I avoid suggesting people add corn syrup to stabilize it as I hate the stuff. I just finished a whole gallon of it and it worked like a charm. Small batches will have their water cook off more quickly too.
Lastly, you can always use a sweetener that has more water in it. Maple or honey both ferment very well, you would just cover the nuts with them and proceed as for sugar.
Just finished mine up (fermenting). The initial flavor is amazing but I'm getting a tangy after taste. Could I have possibly done something wrong? Over cooked? Not enough sweetener? I used brown sugar in my mix, could that be it? Or is this normal? Obviously, my first try. 🙂
Tangy could be from the fermentation. I haven't tasted any in mine.
I forgot about my jar of green walnut honey and two of the walnuts have some fuzzy white mold growing on the top- can I discard them and still use the syrup? Or toss the batch?
Sarah, yes, it needs to be stirred regularly, particularly if your walnut were large, which can mean they may pop out above the liquid, exposing them to air and all of the bacteria it contains. This stuff is super stable though, so, proceeding with caution, I would pick off any moldy nuts, skim the liquid, put it in a pot, bring it to a simmer, strain it, and taste. If it tastes good to you, keep it. Sugar and the natural composition of black walnuts themselves are very, very inhospitable to bacteria, especially after the fermentation process which itself lowers the pH.
Just finished boiling off a batch (fermented for 42 days) and it still tastes quite tannic. Any suggestions? Would I have any luck simply adding more sugar to the mix and boiling again to dissolve? Thanks!
Hmm. Thanks for letting me know. All I can say is that I have 2 1/2 gal batches going at about 60 days just to test that, and they’re not tannic. The distillery I work with is making multiple gallons to flavor our 300 bottles of nocino, and I have a good number of friends who’ve made it now and no one has mentioned it. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more accounts of it. Thx
I used walnuts that were a little past the point of cutting- and let it sit about a month too long. and it is really bitter- almost burns your throat. I figure the walnuts were too old. I made it to add to the Nocino recipe. I went ahead and mixed it in with the nocino and will put in the basement for a year and see if it mellows out with time. Love Flora and am excited for the next installment
Good to know Nadia. Yes I only use ones that are still tender and easy to cut here. Once it ages in the nocino that should relax. Glad you're enjoying the book.
I made a batch this summer out of butternut... and took absolutely 0 notes... that was still quite bitter as of New Years. I'll try again next year with the same tree, but for now that's another data point for possible bitterness after fermentation. Perhaps only if the recipe is followed carelessly as was likely the case in my midsummer fervor.
All I can say is that mine was made from very young black walnuts. I would also pay attention to the maceration time, leaving the young nuts in the syrup for a longer than I did might make it bitter. As it's experimental, there's probably a lot of variables here. There are still some tannins in mine, but it's nothing compared to the astringency of a fresh black walnut. I just made a batch of extra dark granola with some of mine and it's pretty darn good.
I'd like to give this a try with pine cones. Should I harvest them when green and closed or brown and open? I'm finishing my first batch of walnut honey today. Thank you for sharing your experiences with wild culinary experimentation, it has opened up a new world of discovery for me.
Pine cones MUST be harvested green for this or it will not work.
I am tossing in my salt late in the process because ... I just bottled mine that had been steeping since June. Yup ... too much going on my life...
First, I also had mould that showed up about a month into the steeping but I lacto-ferment a lot so it did not worry me. I fitted a piece of baking paper into the top of the jar and added an empty jar to make sure everything important was covered in liquid. Today when I removed the baking paper there was a sort of rim of mould just like I get on my pickles. It's probably a (totally harmless) Penicillium, the most common fungus in all of our kitchens and able to live under all sorts of extreme conditions.
So, that's my contribution to the mould issue - present but not a problem in my opinion.
Now to the tannins.
Different people have different sensitivities to tannins. I cannot eat the persimmons from the tree in our garden that my husband happily eats in huge numbers (but he is way more sensitive to bitter tastes than I am).
So, is my syrup tannic? For me, yes. Is it too tannic to be pleasant? No, but I will consider its tannicity when deciding how I use it. And I just fed a spoonful to my husband and he said it is "not tannic at all", which is clearly not true for my mouth.
So I suspect that the comments about how tannic it is probably depends more on the taster than the recipe or the walnuts.
Your information is AMAZING and I'm so grateful to have found you online!! I just started researching about harvesting cracking and using black walnuts. I have decided to try many of your different ideas and recipes. It is mid oct now and I'm in Massachusetts. There are many walnuts on the ground in different states of physical being, soft, hard, green, yellow, brown, some cracked open, some no visible damage some have lots of visible damage. I'd like to try drying some this year and next summer start picking green ones from the tree. Is it safe to use ones off the ground? I've picked some recently green from tree also but they are small and hard should I let them soften and use your boot and glove method and dry the ones that sink only? I know they are black walnuts as the stain is impossible to miss. Thanks Jacqueline
Remove the hulls, then wash and dry as directed. For all of them.
I collect (ripe) walnut ONLY from the ground. I generally wait till the husk has blackened and partly rotted away to reduce the work, and if I can I will squash them under my shoe to remove the husk before I pick them up. But that is because the squirrels here aren't serious competitors for the black walnuts since they prefer the European ones (that are SO much easier to crack). In fact it seems to me that only the crows are using these black walnuts and they place them on the road for cars to drive on to get them opened. If the walnuts are still on your tree I would suspect that they are not really ripe yet and I would wait for them to fall.
This is extremely tasty!
Note that when making it, I needed to open up the jars to get all the sugar off the bottom of the jar. There was probably not enough water in the walnuts. For next time, is it OK to add a bit of water while it's macerating, to get all the sugar to dissolve? Or just add it at the end?
One final question -- can the finished product live outside the fridge (like honey) for months? Or should it be refrigerated? (You said it was very stable, but I'm not sure what this means.)
Yes it's fine to add a splash of water while macerating the nuts and sugar. As I mention, the syrup will last for a very long time after you put it in the mason jars. It does not need to be refrigerated.
Thanks! My yield was a bit low (just over 3 cups), so maybe I should have added more water. A little sugar has accumulated on the bottom of the jar, which isn't a big deal.
By the way, have you tried this blended into whipped cream on top of nannyberry pudding? Mmm... (Same goes for the sweet liquid from the preserved black walnuts recipe in your book.)
I was wondering if there is any reason I can't do this with my Nocino walnuts after I strain my Nocino? I only found your recipe after I committed all of my green walnuts to Nocino this year. I have added some sugar to one jar of walnuts and it was black and liquid the next day. Thanks in advance!!
No, you cannot use the nuts to make walnut honey. Their goodness has been transferred to the liquor.
Thanks for your response, Alan! I wanted to let you know that I had already started the process so I saw it through to the end. I left it to sit about 3 weeks. There was a little sugar at the bottom of the jar (approx 1-2 Tbsp in a full quart jar) that never incorporated. It never developed any mold. I strained it and brought it to a boil, then simmered briefly to reduce, then jarred. It's delicious. It never fermented but I would still say that it's a great tasting syrup and a way to get just a little more from your walnuts before discarding. Happy New Year!
I just finished the syrup that had been fermenting since late July. I have a black walnut tree in my backyard and harvested the nuts directly from the tree when they were still (barely) soft enough to cut in half. The finished syrup is delicious and will make a perfect addition to holiday gift baskets. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and guide.
Glad it worked for you Kerensa.
I just realized that I had made a batch of this and forgotten about it- the walnuts have been in the sugar for 5 months now. It smells wonderful, with lots of aroma, but the tannins are strong- if I let it sit long enough, will it mellow? Or should I toss this batch and wait until next summer?
I've made a bunch and still haven't tasted tannins in any of my batches. If it's too strong for you, I'd suggest making another batch next year with very young nuts.
I just came across this recipe today while looking for walnut syrups. We have a couple of many decade old English Walnuts in our yard, and have been trying several different recipes. Pickled Walnuts, Nocino, and even a Victorian-era green walnut sauce that came out tasting almost exactly like A-1 are already in the bag. This sounds like a great one to try. Just curious on a couple of things though - does the fermenting use up all the residual sugar, or could the resulting syrup be used in lieu of maple syrup in an acerglyn? If I was to scale this up to aiming for around a pound of finished syrup, what would the quantities of nuts needed be? My acerglyn recipe is 1 lb maple syrup to 2 lbs honey to a gallon of finished product. Can't wait to try this!
Jonathan, so the finished product will make roughly the weight of sugar into syrup, which will be roughly the consistency of honey, depending on how much you cook it down. To really be precise, you could measure the brix level like people do when cooking down maple. I'd start by making a little more than you need just to be safe.
is there a reason for the 2:1 ratio? Can I use less sugar - like 1:2 as long as the nuts/cones/needles are covered?
No, you can't use less sugar, the proportions are dialed in here.
I was curious because if I use the proportions suggested I have quite a large amount of sugar crystals on the bottom of my glass since the cones don't provide enough liquid for it to go into solution and wonder if I did something wrong.
two more things
how long will the fermenting going on? Mine stopped (or slowed very much down) after a couple of days at least when bubbles count as fermenting.
And do you wash the cones to get rid of the resin?
Tom, It's hard for me to know what you're talking about when you say cones on a post about walnuts. Can you be more specific here ?
Sorry, about the confusion. You mentioned that making a syrup of green walnuts is similar to making syrup of pine cones and combined my questions here in this post. I have pine cones fermenting (which basically stopped now according to the bubbling) and wonder how long they should ferment and if walnuts will ferment as long as pine cones.
After sitting overnight, quite a bit of liquid has manifested in the jar--but there's still a significant amount of solid sugar at the bottom that refuses to dissolve no matter how much I shake it. How long might it take for *all* of the available liquid to be drawn out of the walnuts? In other words: at what point should I stop waiting for the walnuts to release more liquid, and just add some extra water so that the remaining sugar can dissolve?
The sugar will not completely dissolve until you heat it. Same as mugolio.
Question on residual sugar - my nuts have been macerating for a month, the nuts are floating, and there is obvious, happy bubbling going on. However, it's clear there's a solid 2" of sugar in the bottle of my 1 gallon jar. What is the best course of action for me from here?
It's fine, not all of the sugar will dissolve during the maceration. Once you cook it everything will melt and become homogenous.
That's what I supposed but wanted to confirm - thank you for answering!
Thank you for this recipe! I made it and processed the molasses earlier this fall, from black walnuts off a downed limb. When I tasted the finished molasses, it had a bitter after taste. Could this be tannins? I'm worried to use the molasses I've made (about a gallon), because I'm wondering about juglones, which I just learned is inedible/toxic. Does the maceration / brown sugar fermentation get rid of the juglone compound in black walnut molasses? Thank you again!
There will be some tannins, but nothing close to an alcohol extraction. They will mellow a bit over time too-so taste it now. I can't speak to the juglones from a scientific perspective, but a lot of people have made this, and at least 3-4 people I know of now sell it at farmers markets. I've served it to people for a few years now and have never had any issues. You consume such a small amount in dishes you would use it in that, even if there's still juglone in it I really see it as a non-issue. Cooking also makes many things safe that might otherwise give you an upset stomach too.
I’ve been pickling walnuts since we bought our house here in Brittany France 12 yrs now I remember my Dad doing it many years ago. I’m so glad I found you as we have so many nuts from our 2 trees this year I have made the wine and just boiled up the syrup it looks good and look forward using it making my muesli and on pancakes . Look forward to making more next year as maple syrup is rocket here in price! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes
Does the glass jar, clear or amber, imoact the process?
Amber is better for most things but most people don't use them. All will work.
Hi, I have a jar of Nocino just about ready (30 days+) for the addition of syrup, also a jar of the molasses as per your recipe at 30 days maceration. Once the molasses has been boiled pre bottling, can I use it as the syrup for the Nocino? I've never made either before this year, If so, what would the ratio be nocino:molasses? I made one and a half quantity of Nocino, so used that amount of alcohol with all other ingredients in ratio..
Your advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Angela (In Kent, England)
Just add it, a couple spoonfuls at a time, mixing well until it tastes good to you. Italians I've spoken to rarely use recipes. It shouldn't be overly sweet. If it's your first time making it, I'd add maple syrup or sugar.
Hello! I was super excited for this, but I think there is a step missing in the Boiling & Straining section of the recipe. It says to bring it to a boil, then strain out the walnuts, but it doesn’t say anything about stopping the boil or how long you should let it boil and/or simmer. Unfortunately, mine boiled too long, burned, & solidified. 🙁 Going to have to try it again next year, I guess.
You're making it too complicated. Just bring the syrup to a simmer, remove the walnuts and pour the hot syrup into jars.
Good morning alan, I put the nuts and sugar to ferment on June 11th, then I forgot until now. no mold. Can I finish the process or botulinum or other bacteria could have contaminated it? Thanks for the answer. Meri
No you're fine. Remember that botulism is killed by cooking, so go ahead and proceed, especially if you didn't get any mold, which can harm the flavor.
Thank you so much , this is wonderful news
Are juglones a concern?