Promoting the growing of tree nuts in Canada, and their use.
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StarsTree Nut Cookbook

This cookbook has been adapted, updated and corrected from ECSONG's 'In a nutshell' cookbook, first published in the mid 1980s.

Table of Contents


Acorns are the fruit of oak trees, as everyone knows. Oaks all belong to the genus "Quercus" which has maybe 600 species worldwide. Ten species grow in Canada, half of these in eastern Ontario. Some non-native species may grow in protected areas. The trees are found in many places so acorns are not hard to find in fall of the year.

Acorns are rather bitter raw because they contain tannin. Fortunately, tannins are not hard to remove. The leached acorn meal has high nutritional value.

Leach acorns by shelling the nuts, and boiling them whole in several waters, discarding the water when it becomes yellowish (tannins). Dry them in the oven, leaving the door ajar. Alternately, acorns can be leached by being coarsely ground, put in a burlap sack and submerged in a flowing stream for a couple of days or so. Acorns store like flour.

As food, they can be eaten whole, or used coarsely chopped, or ground into a fine meal.

Querky Acorn Muffins

Start with the coarsely ground acorn meal, prepared as described in the introduction to acorns above.

1 cup fine ground acorn meal
¼ tsp sugar
1 cup wheat flour
1 egg
4 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
½ tsp salt
¼ cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together the eggs, milk, and melted butter. Combine all ingredients and mix well until smooth. Spoon the batter into well-buttered muffin tins. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops crack or the edges pull away from the tin. Serve hot or cold with butter or wild jam. Note: try different spices each time for a variety of flavours.

Valley Acorn Pancakes

This recipe can start your day with a wilderness breakfast. It serves two, and can be made from any Ottawa Valley species of oak. Leach the acorns first, or just pull some meal already prepared from your large stock in your freezer.

1 cup fine acorn meal
1 cup wheat flour
2 Tbs sugar 3 tsp double-acting baking
½ tsp salt powder
1½ cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp liquid shortening

Mix all the ingredients together. A slightly lumpy batter is preferred as over-mixing makes tough pancakes. Cook in a skillet over a hickory or oak camp fire (or your own stove if you are at home) until golden brown. Bon appetit!

Forest Acorn Griddle Bread

If you process your acorns in the fall, and freeze them, you can make this bread in the spring, using fresh wild leeks.

1 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs white ends of wild leeks
1 cup corn meal
1 cup acorn flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs wheat flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat and cook the leeks until wilted but not yet browned. Cool. Sift together the cornmeal, acorn flour, soda, salt, baking powder and wheat flour. Add buttermilk and leeks to the dry ingredients and stir well. Then stir eggs and Tabasco sauce into batter. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot, greased griddle and bake until the bubbles at the edges begin to break. Turn and bake until the other side is golden brown.

Camper's Acorn Cakes

This charming recipe will start your fall or early winter day with wholesome, tasty breakfast. It serves an intimate two.

2 cups acorn meal
½ tsp salt
¾ cup water
3 Tbs cooking oil

Mix first three ingredients. Beat lightly, remembering that a slightly lumpy batter will make lighter pancakes. Heat the oil (over an oak or hickory camp fire). Drop the batter from a tablespoon, making the cakes about 3 inches in diameter. Brown slowly, turning once. Serve hot or cold.

Jimmy Acorns

This party confection uses white oak acorns exclusively because only they can be eaten with little leaching. Simply soak the whole acorn meats for a day in an excess of water, then thoroughly dry.

¼ cup semisweet chocolate pieces
2/3 cup white acorns
2½ ounces chocolate shot (jimmies)

Place the chocolate pieces in a pan over hot water. Let stand until soft, then stir to a smooth paste. spread the acorns in a shallow pan and heat in 350°F oven about 20 minutes. Alternatively, the acorns can be deep fried at 265°F about 1 minute until light brown. Spread, closely packed, on waxed paper. Pour the chocolate over, then quickly sprinkle with the jimmies. Separate as they cool. Yum yum!


The American Beech, Fagus grandifolia, is a medium sized tree, growing to about 80 feet with a trunk up to 4 feet across. The fruit is a reddish-brown bristly husk which splits into four sections revealing two nutlets inside, about one-half inch long. The nutlets are sharply pyramidal, ripening in the fall, somewhat hard to shell but well worth the effort. It is common in eastern Ontario and western Quebec on both well-drained slopes and rich bottom land. The beeches, oaks and chestnuts all belong to the same family.

Broken Beechnut Cookies

Nature offers you the charming beechnut. Pass them along to your friends and family as broken beechnut cookies.

2 egg whites
¾ cup ground beechnuts
1 cup sugar

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar ¼ cup at a time, beating after each addition. Then fold in the beechnuts, and drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 275° F for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Yield is about 1 dozen 1½ inch cookies.

Arabian Beechnut Date Cakes

These cakes will stick to your ribs on a cold winter's day!

1 tsp baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped dates
3 Tbs butter
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1½ cups beechnuts

Stir the baking soda into the boiling water and pour over the dates. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mix butter, eggs, flour and sugar. Stir into the date mixture. Add the nuts. Spread into a pan and bake for 40 minutes in a 350°F oven. Cut and serve with whipped cream. (If it is a warm fall day, use ice cream instead of whipping cream).

Farmers Beechnut Pie

This pie will fill the corners at the end of a hearty meal.

3 eggs
¼ lb butter melted
1 cup white corn syrup
¾ cup sugar
1½ cups beechnuts
1 nine inch pie shell, uncooked

Whip the eggs. Slowly beat them into the melted butter, corn syrup and sugar. Pour into the pie shell. Bake in the oven at 275-300°F for 35 minutes. Remove the pie and quickly cover it with the nuts. Return it to the oven and raise the heat to 350°F for another 15 minutes.

Settler's Beechnut Coffee

Another of the many coffee substitutes used by early American settlers, this is especially welcome on camping trips.

½ cup ground, roasted beechnuts
4 cups water

Combine the coffee and water, and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 12-15 minutes. Then strain and serve. If desired, the coffee may be made in a percolator. This recipe will give you about 4 servings.

Black Walnuts

Not only is black walnut the premier furniture wood of North America, but it has the most flavourful nuts of all. Black walnuts belong to the species Juglans nigra. It has only recently been growing in Eastern Ontario in any but the most protected areas. Climatologists are saying that because of the recent CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels, the ensuing "greenhouse" effect will warm our region over the next few decades, making it amenable to black walnut growth.

The tree tends to be solitary and no pure wild plantations are known, though small groups are often found. Walnut is reputed to discourage their own and others' seedling from growing beneath them, probably because their roots release toxic substances into the soil.

Gather the large nuts in the fall, usually after mid-October. Remove the husk as you would cut a melon or avocado. This husk can be fermented to produce the famous black walnut dye for cloth or stain for wood. Wash the nuts in running water until no more black pigment stains the water. Let the nuts dry, then bag them in burlap. Store in a dry, cool basement. They seem to keep for years.

Black walnut is a tough nut to crack! Forget your basic household nutcracker; seek out a cracker specially designed for these nuts, preferably one that will also work on the kinds of nuts in this book. Crack the nuts only as you use them, or freeze any extra.

Sherry's Cream of Black Walnut Soup

This is a hearty soup that can be made from freshly cracked black walnuts that have been stored whole over the winter.

2 cups chopped walnuts
¼ cup chopped celery
1 Tbs chopped chives
5 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs cream sherry
2 tsp butter
1 cup heavy cream salt to taste
nutmeg for topping

Combine walnuts, celery, chives with the chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook for twenty minutes on medium. Stir in the sherry, butter, cream and salt. Reheat and serve with a sprinkling of nutmeg.

Cajun Walnut and Rice Soup

Cook this soup a day ahead of time, and heat up just before serving. A good soup for using your microwave.

¾ cup ground walnuts
2 tsp gumbo file
½ cup raw rice
2 Tbs wild rice
1 small onion
4½ cups chicken stock

Gumbo file is a combination of sassafras and thyme available as a spice in gourmet food shops. Combine the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Serves four.

Blackie's Walnut Fromage Sticks

You can use hickory nuts instead. Obtain the ingredients for a one crust pie crust to start.

1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1 egg white
¾ finely chopped nut meats
1 Tbs water

Beat the egg white with the water until frothy. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the pie crust according to its recipe but mix in the cheese before adding the water. Roll out dough to ¼" thick. Cut into finger sized sticks. Brush the surface of these sticks in egg white mixture. Roll in chopped nuts and place in ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm, not hot, this a finger food. Makes about three dozen.

Rusty's Chicken Walnut Salad

The is a large salad, great for a SONG picnic or field day. The recipe makes 24 servings.

4½ lbs torn lettuce leaf
3 lb tomato wedges
12 oz walnut pieces
6 oz sliced green onions
4½ lbs smoked chicken, shredded
1½ lbs hard-cooked eggs, sieved
Creamy Black Walnut Salad Dressing (next recipe)

For each serving, toss 3 oz lettuce, 2 oz tomatoes, ½ oz walnuts, ¼ oz green onions with 1 oz of dressing. Arrange on a serving plate. Arrange 3 oz of chicken over the greens. Top with 1 oz of egg.

Creamy Black Walnut Salad Dressing

This creamy dressing is used with the Rusty's Chicken Walnut Salad, but could be used as a tantalizing sauce for cold splake, cisco or white fish.

3 1/3 cups olive oil
1¾ cups apple cider vinegar
7 oz black walnut pieces
12 eggs
3½ oz shallots, chopped
½ oz parsley, chopped
5¼ tsp lemon juice
1½ tsp dry mustard
2½ tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy smooth. Yields seven cups.

Fuzzless Pickled Black Walnuts

Use either black walnuts or white walnuts (butternuts). Harvest the nuts in late May or early June, checking that the kernel, shell and casing are fully formed, the husk is leather-smooth and complete, and the entire structure is still tender enough for a bodkin to pierce from one side to the other. Pour boiling water over the nuts, cool slightly and rub the fuzz off. Place the nuts in a kettle, and cook until the water is very dark. Drain and repeat until the water comes out clear. Pack the nuts in sterilized pint jars each containing:

½ tsp salt
¼ tsp powdered alum
2 walnut leaves
1 level tsp mixed pickling spice
½ tsp celery seed
½ tsp mustard seed

Fill each jar with boiling hot vinegar and seal tightly. Let ripen for at least six months.

Rummy's Black Walnut Conserve

This conserve goes well with any full-bodied meat or game.

½ cup sugar
1½ cup brown sugar
4 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbs honey
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp whole mustard seed
½ tsp curry powder
1 lemon peel grated
3 cups black walnut meats
½ cup dark rum

Combine all the ingredients, except the walnuts and rum, in a saucepan and boil until as thick as jam, stirring constantly. Add walnuts and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in rum. Pour into sterilized ½ pint jars and seal. Makes 4 half pint jars.

Black Walnut Milkweed Vegies

Many parts of the common eastern Ontario milkweed make tasty vegetables, such as the young shoots, leaves, or pods. Use any in this recipe, though the pods look the best. Milkweed contains latex, great base for paint, but not too palatable, therefore preparatory boiling is required. Boil enough water to cover the milkweed pods, immerse and boil gently for a minute. Repeat twice, and delicately taste; if any bitterness remains, repeat leaching a third time.

The flavour of black walnuts compliments the milkweed deliciously. Serve as the vegie for plain venison roast along with a green salad and pine nut pie for dessert. Makes enough for eight.

2 cups black walnut meats
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup butter
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups prepared milkweed pods
¼ tsp crumbled dry thyme or
½ tsp crumbled dry basil or
¾ tsp chopped fresh thyme
1½ tsp chopped fresh basil
Water as needed

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Toast the nuts in a shallow pan in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the nuts and raise the oven setting to 350°F. Mix the bread crumbs with the salt, thyme, basil, and black pepper. Put into a buttered 1½ quart casserole a layer of milkweed pods, a layer of nuts, and a sprinkling of herbed crumbs. Continue layering in this manner, ending with layer of the remaining crumbs. Sprinkle with just enough water to moisten the top, less than ¼ cup. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, removing the cover for the last 10 minutes to allow browning. Serve immediately.

Walnutty Potatoes

This is the recipe for ultimate potato dish with the main course!

6 large potatoes
1 cup ground walnuts
4 Tbs melted butter
¼ cup heavy cream

Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and mash. Place half the mashed potatoes in the bottom of a quart casserole, and top with half the walnuts and half the butter. Add the remaining potatoes, and sprinkle the rest of the nuts, butter and all the cream. Cover and bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Serve piping hot. Makes about four servings.

Black Walnut Humpty Dumplings

Pop these into beef, buffalo, venison, elk, or moose stew or soup.

½ cup ground black walnut
¼ cup milk
2 Tbs melted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
Combine all the ingredients, and stir until smooth. Drop the batter, a tablespoonful at a time, into hot soup or stew. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Yields about four servings.

Black Walnut Onion Grenades

This 6 serving recipe goes back a long way.

6 medium Spanish onions
½ cup minced fresh mushrooms
1 cup unseasoned cooked rice
1 Tbs boiled wild rice
1 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ tsp crushed thyme leaf

Lightly sautée the mushrooms in 2 Tbs of butter. Peel the onions, then slice off the top fourth of each. Parboil the onions in about one inch of water in a covered kettle 15 - 18 minutes or until they are almost tender and the insides can be scooped out easily. Drain the onions well, then very gently scoop out all but the outer two layers of onion so as to make onion "cups" with walls about ¼ inch thick. An apple corer will help remove the centers. Finely chop enough of the scooped-out onion to measure one cup and reserve. The remainder can be used for other purposes. Mix the rice, walnuts and egg, stir in the reserved 1 cup of chopped onion, the sautéed mushrooms, salt pepper and thyme. Toss lightly. Fill the onion cups with the mixture, packing it in gently and mounding it on the top. Arrange in a pie pan and bake uncovered in a moderate oven (325°F) for 30 to 35 minutes or until stuffing is light brown.

Algonquin's Black Walnut Oxed Mushroom

This recipe is from the Algonquin Hotel in the heart of New York City. This small hotel is the favourite of all kinds of interesting people who have a variety of reasons for loving it, not the least of which is the food.

60 medium mushrooms (1½ lbs)
salt to taste
lemon juice
6 oz softened cream cheese
2/3 pt sour cream
½ cup Dijon mustard
1 4 to 6 lb cooked ox tongue, finely chopped
60 shelled walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove stems and clean the mushrooms. Place the mushroom caps in a large shallow oven proof dish; sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Chill. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and mustard into a smooth sauce. Gently mix the chopped ox tongue with the sauce and spoon the mixture into the chilled, blanched mushroom caps. Top each stuffed mushroom cap with a walnut half. Serve on a platter centered with a small bowl of salted walnuts. Yield is 60 stuffed mushrooms.

K9's Black Walnut Hush Puppies

This recipe makes about 24 servings.

1½ lbs corn muffin mix
2 oz yellow corn meal
1 tsp cayenne
1 cup water
2 oz warm bacon fat
8 oz small black walnut bits
vegetable oil as needed
powdered sugar as needed
Combine the muffin mix, corn meal, and cayenne. Mix in the water to blend. Mix in the bacon fat, then walnuts. For each serving, drop three level tablespoons of batter into the hot oil (375°F). Deep fry until brown and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and serve hot, dusted with the powdered sugar. Accompany with maple syrup, ham and eggs. Note: use muffin mix specifying water as the only additional ingredient.

Bombay Walnut Chutney Tarts

These tarts are served as a vegetable with the main course.

4 baked 3-inch tart shells
3 Tbs parsley, chopped
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbs mango chutney
3 Tbs butter
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2/3 cup cottage cheese

Place the tart shells in a warm oven until you have the filling ready. Brown the walnuts in the butter for 5 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Combine and put into the tart shells and bake at 250°F just long enough to heat, or about 5 minutes. Serve piping hot. Makes about 4 servings.

Black Walnut Tsatsivi

This recipe calls for a black walnut sauce to be made from the broth of the chicken which it will eventually cover. First we start the chicken.

4 small chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1½ quarts water
1 small onion
1 small carrot
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the chicken breast in about 1½ quarts of water onion, carrot, salt and pepper until tender. When done remove from broth and let cool. Reserve 1½ cups of broth for the sauce.

2 small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbs olive oil
½ cup reserve broth
1 sprig coriander leaves,
chopped fine
¾ cup shelled walnuts
1/8 tsp powdered cloves
1/8 tsp saffron 1 pinch of chili or cayenne pepper
1½ Tbs red wine vinegar
salt, pepper to taste

To make the sauce, fry onions and garlic in oil, for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add all the other ingredients, and simmer for about 5 minutes. While still hot, pour into blender and blend to a fine, light paste. Pour over chicken breasts which have been cut into quarters and let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Black Walnut Yam Bread

This recipe can make 2 sweet, moist and light loaves and 8 muffins.

½ cup of soft butter
½ cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups cold mashed yams
3½ cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped black walnuts
2/3 cup cold strong black coffee

Cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in yams. Sift together the dry ingredients and add the nuts. Stir in creamed mixture alternately with the cold coffee. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans and 8 greased muffin-pan cups. Bake in a moderate oven, 375°F, 1 hour for the loaves and 25 minutes for the muffins, or until they test done in the center. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pans and cool completely. Mangez bien!

New England Black Walnut Bran Bread

It's the black walnuts that make this bread the rich dark quick-bread that it is. No other nuts will do.

4 cups bran flakes
1 cup seedless raisins
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts.
1 cup molasses with 2 tsp baking soda stirred in.

In a large mixing stir the bran flakes with the sugar, flour, salt, walnuts and raisins until the bran flakes, nuts and fruit are well dredged with the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs with the oil and milk just enough to blend. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the molasses/soda mixture, then the egg mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon just enough to mix. The batter will be quite thin. Pour the batter into 2 well-greased - and - floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans (the batter will no more than half fill each pan). Bake in a moderately slow oven (325°F) for about one hour, or until the loaves have pulled away from the sides of the pan and are springy to the touch. The loaves will still not entirely fill the pans. Remove form the oven, cool the loaves in their pans upright on a wire rack for 10 minutes, them remove from the pans and cool thoroughly before slicing. The bread is good spread with butter or cream cheese.

Forfar Black Walnut Bread

If possible, use the supreme sharp cheddar cheese, namely Forfar of eastern Ontario.

3 cups all-purpose flour
Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 1/3 cups brown sugar plus enough water to TOTAL 1 1/8 cups
2¼ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1½ cups shredded Forfar cheddar
Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1½ cups fresh or frozen cran-berries, coarsely chopped.
1 cup black walnuts

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, orange and lemon rinds in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix; then, using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the juice mixture, then the cheese and eggs, stirring only enough to mix. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Pour the batter into a well greased - and - floured 9½ x 5¾ x 3 inch loaf pan and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for about one hour and 10 minutes or until the bread is nicely browned and springy to the touch. Remove the bread from the oven and cool in the pan upright on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and cool to room temperature before slicing. Spread with butter or cream cheese or eat just plain.

Polly's Juglans nigra Squares

These squares fit the bill for those invigorating autumn picnics and winter meetings, or as lunch pail tasties. Also, you might try the raisins of wild grapes.

1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 egg separated
2 cups sifted flour
¾ cup chopped black walnuts
¾ cup raisins

Cream the butter and sugar, then work in the spices. Add the egg yolk and then the flour. When well mixed, press into an ungreased 9 x12 inch flat pan. Brush the top with the egg white. Cover evenly with the nuts and raisins, pressing them into the dough. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes. Cool in the pan, then cut into squares.

Mennonite Black Walnut Banana Cake

This recipe serves 10-12 and the cake can be filled or frosted.

1½ cups sugar
½ cup butter or shortening
2 eggs
1 cup thinly sliced bananas
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup sour milk
1 tsp soda
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup fine ground black walnuts

Cream the sugar, butter or shortening together. Beat in the eggs, bananas, vanilla, sour milk and the soda. Sift together, then beat in, the flour and baking powder. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 9 inch cake tin. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes.

The cake can be split and filled with pudding or custard, and sliced bananas can be added. To make the frosting combine in a double boiler ½ cup tart jelly, 1 unbeaten egg white and a dash of salt. Beat while cooking until jelly disappears. Remove from the heat and continue beating until the frosting stands in peaks. Spread on the cake, it is a lovely to look at as to eat.

Black Walnut Mooo Candy

There is a rumour that this recipe was written by a consultant employed by a Jersey with milk too rich to drink, hence the name. Some think it true, others who think Jerseys cannot afford consultants are sceptical. Regardless, it is a good confection that serves eight souls.

2½ cups brown sugar
8 Tbs butter
½ cup heavy, heavy cream
1 cup black walnuts

Combine the sugar and cream, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat, add the butter and stir until it melts. Remove from the heat, add the walnuts, and beat until thick and creamy. Pour into a greased tray, let set until firm, then cut into squares and serve. Mooooo!

Apricot Walnut Cake

Keep the following in mind about decorating this desert. Make praline with pecans or hazelnuts, and grind into a powder for flavouring the icing, pastry cream or whipped cream. Caramelize black walnuts, whole hazels, or pecan halves for placing on the cake. This recipe serves 24.

8 oz butter
14 oz sugar
6 eggs
1 pint milk
1 lb 2 oz cake flour
1 Tbs, 1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
14 oz Black Walnut pieces
20 oz fresh apricots
1 lb apricot preserves
1 Tbs grated lemon peel
24 black walnut halves
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Cream the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time until light and pale. Heat the milk till lukewarm, stir gradually into egg mixture. Combine the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda and gradually whisk into egg mixture. Pit and cut the apricots into eighths, fold in. Portion 3 lbs of batter into each of two buttered and floured 10 inch spring form pans. Bake at 400°F 40-50 minutes until top is golden and knife in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack, then remove sides of pans. Melt and strain the apricot preserves, combine with the lemon peel and spread over the cake to glaze. Garnish with the walnuts. Cut each cake into 12 wedges. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.

Black Walnut Wintermints

Wintermints have the clean fresh taste of peppermints, great as the after dinner mint of nut growers.

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 Tbs light corn syrup
½ tsp salt
6 large marshmallows
3 cups black walnut halves or pieces
5 drops oil of peppermint or ½ tsp peppermint extract

Combine the sugar, salt , water and corn syrup in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Place over low to medium heat until sugar dissolves, then cook to the soft ball stage (234°F to 236°F). Remove from the heat, add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Add flavouring and nuts, stirring only until well combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. If the mixture starts to set in the pot, return to the heat for a minute, adding a few drops of boiling water. Store in a covered container, in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 36 patties or 1¼ lbs.

Orange and Black Walnuts

"The flavour secret for this condiment is in the fresh orange juice" said Mr Peel.

1½ cups sugar
½ cup fresh orange juice
Few drops orange food colour
1 tsp grated orange peel
½ tsp vanilla
3 cups black walnut halves
Combine the sugar and orange juice in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Cook to soft ball stage. Maybe add a little food colour to tint a delicate orange. Remove from heat, add orange peel, vanilla and walnut halves. Stir until syrup begins to look cloudy. Before it hardens, spread mixture on a waxed paper lined baking sheet so nuts do not overlap. When cool, break into bite sized pieces. Refrigerate in a covered container, or freeze. Makes about 1 lb.

Prune Crystal Balls

You do not have to be elderly or discomforted to partake of this stimulating condiment. This recipe will make about 3 dozen.

1¾ cup sugar
2 cups water
2 thin slices of lemon
2 cups dried prunes
Beaucoup de Black Walnuts (be generous!)
2 tsp grated orange peel

Combine about 1½ cups of the sugar with the water and the lemon slices. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the prunes and simmer gently over low heat, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Cool and drain well. Slit the prunes open with a sharp paring knife and remove the pits. Fill each empty center with a black walnut half. Blend orange peel with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Roll the stuffed prunes in the mixture, and voila!

Black Walnut Poundcake

This cake is made in either a bundt or a tube pan. No frosting required; the cake is rich enough in itself. It can be dusted, though, with confectioner's powdered sugar.

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup black walnuts, finely chopped

Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar very hard until silvery and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the milk and the vanilla, then add the creamed mixture alternately with the sifted dry ingredients, making sure you begin and end with the dry ingredients. Beat only enough to blend. Fold in the walnuts. Spoon the batter into a well greased and floured 9 inch (12 cup) bundt pan or into a similarly prepared 9 inch tube pan. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for 50 or 60 minutes or until the cake is springy and has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the oven and cool upright on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then loosen the rim of the cake with a thin knife and turn out of the pan. Cool completely before cutting.

Black Walnut Honey Ice Cream

This stunning ice cream is sweetened with exotic honey. The recipe will make about 1½ quarts of ecstasy.

2 cups of milk
1 cup of Australian leatherwood, orange or clove honey
6 egg yolks
2 medium size ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/3 cups whip cream, beaten to soft peaks
1 cup of coarsely chopped black walnuts

Bring the milk and honey almost to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Beat the yolks to pale yellow, and gradually beat in the hot milk solution. Float a bowl in a larger one filled with ice water and whisk the custard until it cools to room temperature. Fold in the whipped cream and bananas. Process in an ice cream maker until about half set, then add the black walnuts and complete the process. Freeze the ice cream in a covered container for several hours to mellow it ... and then!

Black Walnut Apple Candy

This recipe will produce about 5 dozen yummy squares of candy.

1½ envelopes or Tbs unflavoured gelatin 1/3 cup water
1½ Tbs cornstarch
2 cups sugar
1 cup thick applesauce
4 Tbs lemon flavoured gelatin dessert powder
½ cup black walnuts

Sprinkle the unflavoured gelatin in the water and let soak for 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and sugar until well mixed. Stir the applesauce, sugar and cornstarch together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add both the soaked and the lemon gelatins. Cook slowly for 20 minutes over a slow heat, stirring constantly. Cool. Add the black walnuts. Turn into a greased 8 inch square pan and let stand over night. Cut into 1 inch squares and roll in confectioner's sugar. Store covered in a cool place.


Butternut belongs to the walnut family, and is sometimes called the white walnut. Juglans cinerea grows throughout our region in a variety of locations including dry rocky soils overlaying limestone. Its performs best, however, on moist, well-drained fertile soils in shallow valleys and gradual slopes. It is a small to medium sized, short-lived tree seldom surpassing 80 years in age or 70 feet in height. It may reach 3 feet in diameter. Its roots are usually wide-spreading laterals that can go to considerable depth, and in deep soils it may develop a tap root. The attractive wood is soft, but is sometimes used for furniture and interior finishing. Its fruit husks and bark yield and iodine yellow dye, and the root bark is said to be a laxative.

The oily, sweet nuts, harvested in the spring or fall depending on the use, are hard to crack. Generally the same techniques and tools as are used to break black walnuts work just as well for the butternuts. Do not expect to obtain whole meats, halves being about the best that one can do. Nut pieces will be just fine for the recipes we give anyway.

Cream of Butternut Soup

You may not think of nuts making an tasty soup, but this recipe should convince you that nuts can be prepared almost any way, even as soup.

¾ cup ground butternuts
3 Tbs margarine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 large onion, chopped
½ tsp pepper
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1½ cups milk

Combine the butternuts and stock, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Sautée the onion and celery in the margarine for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Add the sautéed mixture and the remaining ingredients to the soup. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Then serve. Makes four delicious servings.

Peter's Pickled Butternuts

Peter Piper picked pickled peppers, but our Peter Picker pickled the butternuts that he picked. A difference you will enjoy, I think. Use the young nuts, picked in May and maybe June. If you can run a needle through the whole nut, husk and all, it is still okay for pickling.

Boil water to scald the nuts to remove the fuzz. Place the fuzzless nuts in a strong brine solution for a week, changing the water every other day, keeping them tightly covered. Then drain and wipe dry. Pierce each nut through several times with a needle so the pickling solution will be able to soak through easily. Pack them in glass jars, sprinkling a little ginger, nutmeg and cloves between layers. Bring some good strong cider vinegar to a boil, and fill each jar and seal it. Let stand at least two weeks in a cool corner.

Mustard Pickled Butternuts

This pickle recipe calls for mustard, so it has a more robust flavour than Peter's pickled butternuts. Collect butternuts meeting the same conditions as Peter's recipe.

3½ cups immature butternuts
¾ cup sugar
1¼ tsp mustard seed
1 tsp whole cloves
¼ cup salt
1 cinnamon stick, slivered
3 cups cider vinegar
½ tsp celery seed

Cover the nuts with boiling water and let soak for one hour. Then drain and rinse in cold water. Again, cover with water and boil for 40 minutes, changing the water twice. Drain and add the salt and enough water to cover. Let sit for five days. Then drain off the water and place the nuts in hot, sterilized jars. Combine the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and boil gently for 10 minutes. Pour the syrup over the nuts, and seal the jars. Let sit for 2 or 3 months before using.

Butternut Cinerean Brownies

The oily butternut, up to 60% of the kernel, helps make for tasty moist brownies.

1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup melted butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup finely broken butternuts
½ cup flour

Mix all the ingredients excluding the nuts and flour. When mixing is complete, add the nuts and flour and stir into an even batter. Set in a shallow greased pan and bake in a moderate (350°F) oven for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan, then cut into nutty squares.

Butternut Pineapple Date Loaf

This loaf will improve if left overnight. It tastes and acts like a mellow fruitcake.

¼ cup soft butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp lemon extract
8½ oz tin of crushed pineapple
¼ cup broken butternuts
¼ tsp baking soda
2½ cups sifted flour
½ cup pitted dates, finely chopped
2½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup maraschino cherries, chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ cup water

Cream the butter and sugar, and add the egg and the lemon extract. Drain the pineapple reserving the liquid. Add crushed pineapple and nuts to the creamed mixture. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dates and mix well, separating the date pieces with your fingers. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the reserved pineapple juice and the ¼ cup of water. Fold in the well drained maraschino cherries. Pour into a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake in a moderate (375°F) oven for about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan for complete cooling. Makes one loaf.

Butternut Cracker Date Pie

This is a simple recipe, a good one to try for a fast dessert, and to use up the surplus of butternuts found in most households today ( ha! ha!... but maybe someday).

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup butternut pieces
1 dozen white crackers
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
3 egg whites

Roll the crackers into small crumbs. Mix dates, nuts, crackers, sugar, baking powder, and eggs together in that order. Fold the mixture into a 9 inch greased pie pan. Bake ½ hour in a moderate oven (350°F). Cool before cutting.

Todd's Microbrittle

The two special features of this nut brittle are that it is made in a microwave oven and it is crunchy instead of rock hard. Even though this recipe calls for butternuts, the other species can be used also... even combinations of nuts.

1 tsp baking powder
1½ cups butternut bits
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp butter
Mix the nuts, sugar, salt, and corn syrup in a microwave proof bowl. Cook for 6½ minutes at high power. Add the vanilla and butter and stir well. Return to the microwave for another 1 ¾ minutes at high power. Quickly stir in the baking powder, spread the mixture thinly on a cookie sheet and let cool at room temperature. When cool, about 30 minutes, break into bite-sized pieces. Stores well in a decorated metal tin lined with waxed paper.


Until the beginning of this century, the American chestnut, Castanea dentata, was the most important hardwood in the forests of eastern North America. It provided furniture wood, shingles, telegraph poles, fence posts, railroad ties, tan bark, and nuts as food for wildlife, livestock and humans.

Then, a blight fungus, invading from the Orient, virtually eradicated the majestic chestnut within the first two decades of this century. As it turns out, the European chestnut, long common in world commerce, is also susceptible to the blight, and so is no use as a substitute tree for North America cultivation. Not too surprisingly, the Chinese chestnut, Castanea mollissima, originating from the home of the blight, is resistant. It is also climate hardy in North America, and is being grown here now.

Plant breeders are producing hybrids from the American chestnut, some of which show blight resistance and thus offer hope for the return of this valuable tree. Meanwhile, it is the imported European chestnut, Castanea sativa, which occupies most of our chestnut markets.

Indian Chestnut Soup

This soup is said to have been a favourite amongst the Amerindians, who also dried and stored chestnuts.

1¾ cups dried ground chestnuts
2 stalks celery
1 large carrot
½ tsp oregano
1 cup acorn squash sliced
5 cups water

Combine the ingredients, and cook until tender, about 45-50 minutes, then serve. There, wasn't that easy?

Chestnuts in Paprika Sauce

Use either dried or fresh chestnuts, just adjust the boiling time if necessary.

2 cups chestnuts shelled
1½ tsp paprika
2 Tbs margarine
½ cup chicken stock
1 Tbs flour
1 Tbs lemon juice

Boil the chestnuts in enough water to cover for 15-20 minutes until tender. Brown the flour in the margarine for 1 minute. Add the paprika and stock, and stir until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Drain the chestnuts and place them in a serving dish. Pour the sauce over the chestnuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Mary's Chestnut and Lamb Stew

A hearty stew for cold winter days, to prepare yourself for trekking off to school alone.

1½ lbs lean lamb, cubed
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 cup shelled chestnuts
1 large onion sliced
1 large tomato quartered
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot sliced
2 coriander seeds crushed
Brown the lamb on all sides. Combine the remaining ingredients and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cover. Simmer gently until tender, about 2 hours. Makes four servings.

Chestnut Coffee

First roast an ample supply of chestnuts. Start by chopping them coarsely and spreading on a cookie sheet. Roast at 375°F until dark and dry, about 40 minutes. Store them in an air tight container to preserve freshness. Then to make about four cups of coffee, take

½ cup roasted chestnuts
4 cups water

and grind the nuts to a powder in the blender or a grinder. Combine the powder and water and boil gently for about 15 minutes. Strain and serve.

Cureton Chocolate Nuttrees

Nut trees come in many shapes. This charming recipe will enable you to use your artistic talent to create tree shapes appropriate to any occasion. The spreading Chestnut tree comes to mind for Blacksmith Day. Its your choice for Pinocchio's birthday. Even the traditional Christmas tree shape could be cast in chocolate covered nuts. Lastly, though this recipe calls for chestnuts, prepared acorns would be a natural here.

2 lbs whole chestnuts
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate
1 tsp butter
chocolate sprinkles (in season)

Boil the chestnuts in the hull for about 20 minutes. Cool, shell and rub off any fuzz. Then, finely grind the nut meats to a paste. Mix the icing sugar with the paste. Now this mixture is ready to be formed to the desired tree shapes on a cookie sheet. Melt the chocolate over hot water and beat in the butter. Pour over the nuttrees. Top with the chocolate sprinkles if the occasion permits for example, at Christmas time. Makes about 10.


The gingko, or maidenhair tree, is the oldest cultivated nut tree in the world, and the only living species of its entire botanical division, the Gingkophyta. It belongs to the conifer group of tree families (gymnosperms), but is the only one whose seed is not enclosed in a cone. It seems identical with fossils of 150 million years ago which show they were widespread in the northern hemisphere then.

It is a hardy, attractive tree, tall and pyramidal in youthful habit, becoming round of crown at maturity. The dioecious gingko is becoming popular in urban landscaping. The leaves, of unique bilobed fan shape, turn a clean golden yellow in the fall. It flowers very early in the spring, some trees bearing female flowers and the others male ones, never both on the same tree. An orange-yellow fruit resembling a wild plum in size and shape develops, which falls to the ground on ripening late in the season. The fleshy outer coat splits open, releasing the foul odour of butyric acid which it contains. Inside, there is the single nut in a silvery shell. Inside the shell is a nut kernel that is highly prized in the orient, hoarded for eating at the most important social gatherings.

Store Gingko nuts in their shell. Gingkoes need to be blanched after shelling. Place the shelled nuts in a mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then drain. Rub off the shell skins and dry the nuts before use or storing. The naked nut should be stored refrigerated.

Ginkgo Winter Melon Soup

This is definitely not Chinese fast food, but would be a tantalizing start to any Chinese meal.

¼ cup dried Chinese mushrooms
1 winter melon of 4 to 5 lbs
2 cups diced boned raw chicken
2 cups diced lean pork
½ cup diced lean ham
½ cup prepared ginkgoes
1/ 4 cup button mushroom caps
2 qts chicken broth

While the dried mushrooms soak in warm water for 30 minutes, scrub the melon thoroughly, and cut a "cap" off about 3 inches down from the stem end. Put the cap aside to be used as a lid later, and scrape out the melon's seeds and pulp, and discard. Use strong string to make a melon sling, by which it can be lowered into a deep pot later. Place the chicken, pork, ham, nuts and mushroom caps in the melon. Drain the soaking Chinese mushrooms, slice them into the melon, and add the soak water. Fill the melon to ¾ with the chicken broth, well-seasoned, and cover with the melon cap. Choose a small pan with sides 2 inches high, placing it in the bottom of a large deep pot as a pedestal for the melon. Lower the melon in the sling into the pot, setting it in the small pan which should hold the melon securely upright. Add water to the pot to just below the 2 inch mark; make sure you keep the melon out of water. Steam the melon over low to moderate heat for 3 to 4 hours. Add more water to the pot as needed. Add more heated chicken broth to the melon so as to keep it ¾ full. When done, lift the melon from the pot by the string sling, and set it in a shallow bowl that will hold it firmly upright. Remove the melon lid. Cut horizontal rings of melon, one for each serving bowl. Ladle the soup into the bowls over the melon. As long as you ladle only enough soup to reach just lower than the rim of each melon ring, the portions will be just right, and everyone gets a share. Makes about 8 servings, depending on how you slice it.

Buddha's Bliss

China's Buddhists are vegetarian, and this is typical of the Chinese vegetarian dishes.

20 prepared ginkgo nuts
16 dried tiger-lily buds
4 dried Chinese mushrooms
4 dried lotus roots
1 Tbs dried hair seaweed
¼ cup dried tree ears, soaked
¼ cup taro
14 snow peas
6 water chestnuts
¼ cup bamboo shoots
1 tsp soy sauce, or tamari
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp MSG
½ tsp peanut oil

Place the tiger-lily buds, mushrooms, lotus root, hair seaweed and tree ears in separate bowls and cover each with tepid water. Let stand for 20 minutes, then drain, rinse and drain again. Slice the taro and parboil it for about 5 minutes, then drain. Parboil the peas for 3 minutes, drain, and place in cold water to cover. Slice the water chestnuts, lotus roots and mushrooms all into pieces about the same size. Boil 1 cup of water and add the mushrooms, tree ears, tiger-lily buds, lotus roots and gingko nuts. Boil for 5 minutes, then add the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and sea weed. Blend, adding the soy sauce and salt to taste and the sugar. Cover and cook 5 minutes more. Add the MSG and the snow peas, cooking for 1 more minute. Stir in the peanuts just before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Hazelnuts are also called filberts, specially the commercial varieties. There are two species of wild hazels in this region, namely the American hazelnut, Corylus americana, and the two-beaked hazelnut, Corylus cornuta. Both are shrubs which not only look alike but tend to be found in the same habitats. The nuts are sweet and edible, favourites of many creatures including deer, squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays, SONG members and others.

Hazelnut Sweeties

Hazelnuts can have delicate flavour, but are well worth gathering, as you will see from this recipe.

2 cups hazels, finely chopped
1 egg white
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
2 tsp butter

Mix the egg white and the sugar. Add the butter and beat until creamy and smooth. Then work in the hazels and form into balls. Do not cook, just eat, then go gather some more hazels.

Fil's Hazelnut Macaroons

This recipe makes about 5 dozen macaroons that just melt in your mouth.

3 cups ground hazelnuts
5 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
½ cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder

Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until it stands in peaks. Gradually beat the sugar and the flour. Stir in the nuts and the baking powder. Drop the batter, ½ tsp at a time about 1½ inches apart on a shallow, greased pan or cookie sheet. Bake in a slow oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges take on a golden tinge. Once cooled, store the macaroons in closed container for as long as they last.

Hazelnut Sauce

This sauce is great when used with any fish, lamb or beef meal that needs perking up. It enhances the flavour rather than smothering it as many sauces tend to do these days.

¼ cup ground hazelnuts
8 Tbs margarine, softened
3 stalks parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbs onion chopped
Combine all ingredients, and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. A few fresh mint leaves chopped in with the parsley makes a nice variation when serving this with lamb.

Hazelnut Plantain

An unusual casserole dish that adds excitement to the regular fare. Plantain (Plantago major) is often found growing in yards and vacant lots, so even those in the city don't have to work to hard to get it. Keep in mind that it is the leaf of this plant that is called for in the recipe, not the long seed head that has been seen draped from the corner of Huck Finn's mouth.

¼ pound lean bacon, diced
1½ cups beef stock
½ cup wild onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
12 cups plantain leaves cut in strips
2 Tbs sugar
½ lb hazelnuts, finely chopped
1½ cups red wine
2 Tbs wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a heavy skillet cook bacon until crisp and golden. Remove bacon and save. Cook the onion in the fat until it is soft but not brown. Stir in the plantain leaves and toss until all the leaves are well covered with fat. Put the greens in a 5 quart flameproof casserole and cover tightly, cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar, stock, salt, pepper, sugar and the bacon. Cover and bake in oven for 1 hour. Add the chopped hazelnuts, cover and put back in the oven for another hour, making sure the liquid does not cook away too fast. The greens are cooked when they are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Season more to taste if so desired. Serve with pride.

Kathleen's Hazelnut Sensation

This recipe was donated by one of our long standing members, when she started bringing this cake to Chapter meetings our attendance improved.

¾ cup sifted flour
2 pkg. pitted dates (whole)
¾ cup sugar
1 cup maraschino cherries (whole)
½ tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups hazelnuts (whole)

Sift first 4 ingredients. Mix nuts, dates and cherries (well drained) in a bowl, and sift dry ingredients over them. Mix with hands. Beat eggs until foamy and add vanilla, stir into nut mixture until well mixed. Spread evenly in greased 9x5x3 pan, which has been lined with waxed paper. Bake in 300°F oven for approximately 45 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, peel off paper and let cool again. Wrap in foil and store in refrigerator. This is easier to slice after it has mellowed for several days. This recipe takes time, but it's well worth the wait.

Chocolate Hazelnut Bombe

"Bombes" are rather complicated to make, but will certainly will not "bomb" with your guests!

1½ cups (½ lb) hazelnuts
Peel of ½ lemon, cut into thin long strips (yellow part only)
4 cups half and half cream
2 cups whipping cream
12 large egg yolks
1½ cups sugar
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated
1 vanilla bean, 6-7 inch split lengthwise
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
½ cup strong hot coffee

Spread hazelnuts in a 10x15 inch baking pan. Place in a 350°F oven and toast nuts until browned under skins, 15-20 minutes, shaking pan every once in a while. Pour nuts onto a towel and rub briskly to remove skins; separate nuts. In a 5 quart pan, combine half and half, whipping cream, sugar, vanilla bean, and lemon peel. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, then gradually whisk in 2 cups of the hot cream mixture. Stirring constantly, pour egg mixture back into pan. Cook, stirring, until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon in a thin even layer, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat at once, let stand until slightly cooled, then cover and chill as long as overnight.

Pour egg mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl. Rinse vanilla bean and let dry for later reuse; discard lemon peel. In a bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa. Add hot coffee and stir until chocolate melts and mixture forms a smooth paste. With a whisk, gradually blend chocolate mixture and half of the chilled cream mixture. Pour into a 2 quart ice-and-salt or self refrigerated ice cream maker; to freeze, follow manufacturer's directions. Meanwhile, place a 10 cup metal bowl in the freezer. When the chocolate ice cream is firm, quickly spread it over the inside of the bowl to make an even layer. Return to the freezer.

Whirl hazelnuts, a handful at a time, in a blender until they form a smooth paste. With whisk, mix nut paste smoothly into the remaining cream mixture. Rinse and dry container of ice cream maker; add the nut mixture and freeze. Spoon frozen nut mixture into center of chocolate-lined bowl; work quickly and pack in evenly. Cover and freeze until hard, at least 6 hours or longer.

To unmold, immerse bowl just to rim in very hot tap water until edges begin to melt slightly. Working quickly, lift bowl from water and, with your hand, twist the frozen mixture to rotate and help loosen the suction that holds bombe in place. Invert bowl on a flat chilled plate to release ice cream; if it doesn't come out of the bowl, repeat process. With spatula, smooth surface of unmolded ice cream and return to freezer to firm surface, about 30 minutes. At this point you can wrap the dessert airtight and freeze it as long as two weeks.

To serve, let ice cream stand at room temperature to soften slightly, 15-30 minutes. Using a thin sharp knife dipped frequently in hot water, cut ice cream into wedges. Makes 14 to 16 servings.

Crazy Hazel's Tarts

Hazel wasn't so crazy to have made and served these tarts.

6 Tbs margarine, melted
¼ cup milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
1¼ cups hazelnuts, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
6 3-inch unbaked tart shells

Combine the margarine and sugar, and stir until well mixed. Beat in the remaining ingredients, pour into the tart shells. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Lemony Hazelnut Tart

The refrigerated dinner rolls speed up the preparation time for those time- conscious cooks, but if you have a favourite crust recipe, and a little extra time, by all means do it from scratch!

1 8oz can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup flour
1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
3 tsp lemon peel, grated
2 Tbs powdered sugar
4 Tbs lemon juice

Separate crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Place triangles in lightly greased 10 inch tart pan or 10 inch pizza pan. Press over bottom and up sides to form crust, seal perforations. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently press sides of warm crust to top of pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, lemon peel, lemon juice, vanilla and eggs. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in coconut and hazelnuts. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Cool and dust with powdered sugar. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 10 servings.

French Biscuits

These buttery biscuits are addictive. Hazelnut chocolate cream can be found in food specialty shops in the area and in some bulk and health food stores. Once again this is an easy, fast recipe for those who don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. These are great for company.

3 oz. butter
2 oz. icing sugar
4 oz. flour hazelnut-chocolate cream
and some hazelnuts

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the flour and make into dough. Put into the refrigerator to firm. Roll and cut the cold dough into cookie shapes about 1/8 inch thick. Bake at 325°F until they turn golden. Cool on rack. Spread cream on one side of a cookie and place another cookie on top, making a sandwich. Drop ½ teaspoon of hazelnut-chocolate cream on the top and garnish with half a hazelnut. Serve with your favourite tea or coffee (see the recipe for Chestnut Coffee).

Orange Spiced Hazels

This recipe coats the tantalizing hazelnut in a mouth watering orange sweetie. It makes about 3 cups.

1½ cups icing sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves (or less)
¼ tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbs grated orange rind
2 egg whites
3 Tbs orange juice
2 cups hazelnuts

Sift the icing sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt together. Stir in the orange rind. Beat the egg whites slightly in a separate, small bowl and blend in the orange juice. Stir the nuts into the egg/juice mixture. Then lift them out with a slotted spoon, allowing them to drain well. Roll them in the sugar mixture until they are well coated. Spread the coated nuts on a cookie sheet so they do not touch one another. Bake in a 250°F oven for 20 minutes until thoroughly dry. Cool completely, store in a covered container. Specially good to munch while watching TV movies on your VCR; could replace popcorn!


The hickories found in or near this region, all belonging to the genus Carya, are a mixed bag, some edible and choice other bitter and essentially inedible. The hickories are medium to large sized trees, 60 to 80 feet high and up to about 2 feet in diameter, and slow growing taking up to 200 years to mature. The shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) and the bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) occur naturally here, the former having a sweet nut and the latter a bitter nut. There are several other hickories growing just to the south which might be persuaded to grow here, specially considering the expected warming of the climate attributed to the "greenhouse" effect described under the walnuts above. Besides the nuts which are relatively easy to open, the wood of these trees is excellent for tool handles of all sorts. The bitternut is the one that gives the true "hickory smoked" flavour to hams and bacon.

The husk of the hickories splits on maturing, and the pecan like nuts can be opened with standard nut cracking equipment.

Hickory Devilled Eggs

This recipe makes about 12 of the most unusual stuffed egg halves you have ever eaten.

6 eggs
2 Tbs softened butter
2 Tbs light cream
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped hickory nuts
Salt to taste
Ground pepper
Watercress garnishing

Hard boil the eggs, chill, peel, and halve them. Remove the egg yolks, mash them, and blend with the butter and cream. Add the mustard, nuts, salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites. Arrange on a platter and garnish with watercress.

Hickory Nut Salad Dressing

This 6 serving recipe makes a dressing good for both mixed-bean and tossed salads.

½ cup ground hickory nuts
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped

Combine all ingredients and shake well.

Hidden Hickory Surprise

Substitute this creamy, sweet filling for your traditional frosting on a cake someday. The change will be welcomed by all who taste it!

½ cup light cream
¼ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1½ cups chopped hickory nuts
1 Tbs cornstarch

Combine the creams and bring to a boil over low heat. Mix the cornstarch with 1 Tbs of water, and add to the cream. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat and add the hickory nuts. Spread it between two 9 inch layer cakes. The type of cake used is at your discretion but chocolate and spice are nice.

Tardy Hickory Tarte

It's the molasses that really makes this tarte unique; although any type of molasses will suffice, there are some that think it a crime to use anything but Black Strap.

6 Tbs margarine softened
1 2/3 cups hickory nuts chopped
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
2 egg yolks
1 9- inch unbaked single crust pastry shell
¾ cup brown sugar
Combine all the ingredients. Pour into the pastry shell, and bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until set.

Christmas Hickory Balls

These sweets are great around Christmas time! Santa has requested them several years in a row now, and even the elves have been known to take a little time off now and then to enjoy them. You may use margarine instead of butter but, if you can afford it, do yourself a flavour and use butter.

2 cups ground hickory nuts
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sifted flour
4 Tbs sugar Confectioners sugar
Mix nuts, butter, sugar and vanilla. Then mix nuts thoroughly with flour. Combine the two mixtures. Roll into small one inch balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a slow oven for 45 minutes. Roll in confectioners sugar when hot and once again when they've cooled. Coloured sprinkles or sparkles may be added to the icing sugar to make them look more cheery.

Shagbark Hickory Fudge

This special rich fudge is laced with a lovely hickory nut flavour. The recipe has been tried and true by several members of SONG.

2 cups brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 Tbs syrup
2 Tbs cocoa
½ cup evaporated milk
1 Tbs butter
½ cup chopped hickories

Combine all ingredients except for the butter and the nuts. Boil until it forms a firm ball in ice water. Remove from stove and beat until set. Add butter and the nuts. Pour in a pan or dish and cool thoroughly.

Jelly-Nut Spread

This is more like a creative new way to eat jelly, it spruces up an old favourite.

½ cup wild fruit jelly, jam, or marmalade, any flavour you choose.
½ cup chopped hickory nuts. In fact pecans, black walnuts and butternuts work well too.

Mix jelly and nuts well and use as a sweet spread or sandwich filling. Makes about a cup.


The best known pecan, Carya illinoinensis, is native to south eastern United States, where it has been extensively planted in commercial orchards. It is a hickory and belongs to the botanical family Juglandaceae, which includes the walnuts. The pecan can be a large tree, whose wood is quite decorative, and used in veneers and furniture.

The pecan nuts on the market come from the southern USA varieties. A "northern" variety of the tree has been found growing wild in Iowa and Illinois. It has been widely planted experimentally in New England and Ontario. Good trees are developing from these experiments although the nuts, when they do occur, are still rather small.

Commercial pecans are large, well-filled and easily shelled, so that they can be used as whole, halves or fragments, as desired.

Toasted Pecans

A savoury before dinner nibbler, as a garnish to bulgur wheat, or long grain rice, the uses for these pecans are endless. They can be stored for about a month in the cupboard or forever in the freezer, making it easy to have them on hand when a bland dish needs perking up.

4 cups shelled pecan halves
½ cup dried chives, chopped
4 beef bouillon cubes
¼ cup butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Toast pecans in a shallow pan in a 300°F oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Crumble bouillon cubes, and add, along with the chives and butter. Mix well. Return to oven for 15 minutes , stirring often. Add salt and pepper. Serve warm or store in an airtight container.

Sugar and Spice Pecans

This is a nice alternative to popcorn, chips and candy as a snack, and almost needless to say the nuts have a nutritive value.

1 cup sugar
2 tsp water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ cups salted pecans
¼ cup evaporated milk
½ tsp vanilla

Salt the pecans yourself if need be. Combine sugar, cinnamon, evaporated milk, and water in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook to the soft ball stage, stirring constantly so it doesn't curdle. Remove from heat and mix in nuts and vanilla. Let stand 15 minutes, then stir with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens. Pour at once onto a waxed paper- lined baking sheet, spreading as thinly as possible. Let cool. Break into bite sized pieces. Store in and airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Frosted Pecans

The sour cream called for adds a rich flavour that balances out the sweetness perfectly. A box of these make a great Christmas gift with a personal touch.

½ cup sour cream
1½ tsp vanilla
1½ cups sugar
3 cups pecan halves

Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla in 2 quart heavy saucepan. Cook to soft ball stage, stirring frequently so as not to burn. Add pecans and stir to coat. Turn onto buttered baking sheet and separate with two forks. Package in airtight containers. Makes 1¼ lbs.

Les Bonbons Elegante

This is a luxuriant, rich candy. It's flavour transcends words, the only recourse is to try it.

2 cups sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup milk
½ cup chopped pecans
1 lb. dates (2½ cups)

Combine sugar and milk in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat to the soft ball stage. Stir. Add dates and cook, stirring constantly until mixture is very thick and leaves the side of the pan when stirred. Remove from heat and stir in the last two ingredients. Cool slightly. Turn out on to a wet towel. When it's cool enough to handle and hold shape, roll up in the towel. Place in refrigerator and chill. Make a roll 2 inches in diameter and 18 inches long. Cut into slices and serve.

Pine Nuts

There are other nut pines besides the well known pinyon of the southwestern USA and Mexico, ones that will grow in northern regions. The stone pine of Siberia (Pinus cembra var. sibericus), and specially the Korean nut pine (Pinus koraiensis), produce seeds big enough to be worth using as nuts. They are highly valued for food in Korea.

During the last ten to twenty years, small experimental plantings of Korean nut pines have been made in Ontario, in places as far north as Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie. Most are making good progress.

In its native habitat which spreads into N. Japan and E. Russia, the Korean pine is slow-growing but may eventually reach 100 feet tall, in a pyramidal form. It is a 5 needle pine, very hardy and makes a good garden tree.

Pine Nut Soup

This soup can be prepared at the last minute and is full of nutritious ingredients.

4 coriander seeds, crushed
1¼ cups ground pine nuts
1 whole clove
2 cups chicken stock
6 green onions, chopped
1½ cups milk
3 Tbs margarine
½ cup light cream

Saute the coriander seeds, clove and onions in the margarine for 2-3 minutes over low heat. Combine the sauteed mixture, pine nuts and stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the milk and cream and heat thoroughly. Serve. If you have the ingredients on hand this should take no more than 20-25 minutes to completely prepare.

Pine Nut Poisson

It is said that the trick to this recipe is to grind the pine nuts to a grainy consistency, not powdery or pasty.

1¾ lb sole, snapper, or sea trout
4 Tbs peanut or 2 tsp corn oil AND 4 Tbs butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup capers, drained
½ cup pine nuts, ground
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs parsley

Cut the fish into 4 portions of approximately the same size. Salt and pepper the pieces on each side. Dredge the fish on both sides in the nuts and press lightly with fingers to make them adhere. In a nonstick skillet heat half of the oil and 1 tsp butter. Add half of the fish and cook until golden on one side. Baste as it cooks. Turn the pieces and cook about 2 minutes or until done if the pieces are thick. Repeat the exact same procedure for the second batch. Transfer fish to a warm plate. Heat the remaining butter in a clean skillet and saute the capers at high heat for one minute, stirring quickly to prevent burning. Add the lemon juice and pour over the fish. Garnish with parsley. Serves four.

Pine Nut Pie

Almost every kind of nut in this book has a good pie recipe and the pine nut is no exception. Perhaps the popularity of the pie is that it allows the unique flavour of the nut to pervade.

4 eggs
4 Tbs margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup pine nuts
½ cup honey
1 unbaked 8 inch single crust pie shell

Combine all the ingredients for the filling, and beat well. Pour the filling into the pastry shell, and bake at 325°F for 45 minutes or until set. Serve cold.

Pine Nut Nog

Egg nog never had it so good. The nuts add a rich and buttery flavour.

2 cups milk
1 tsp ground ginger
½ cup light cream
½ tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbs sugar
1 egg
½ cup pine nuts

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill for 2 hours, stir well then pour into glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve straight up or with a small dash of rum.

Korean Pine Nut Milk

An unusual drink that pleases the palate as well as takes the burn out of the mouth during any particularly spicy meal.

1 cup pine nuts
2 peppercorns
4 cups water
½ cup honey
Place pine nuts, water and peppercorns in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through fine mesh or cheesecloth, discard residue. Combine liquid with honey. Chill well and serve.

Warm Watercress and Pine Nut Salad

Watercress used to be a drab and unexciting vegetable, usually only used as a garnish. Now it has taken front seat as a main part of the meal. Even fussy eaters will welcome this nutritious and tasty dish.

¼ cup olive oil
1 lb. watercress, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove
½ cup diced bacon
¼ cup pine nuts
1 tsp salt
¼ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
½ tsp pepper

In a heavy 12 inch skillet, heat the olive oil. Cut the garlic clove in half lengthwise and add it to the oil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the garlic and discard. Add all the nuts and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are browned. Add bacon, salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Dry watercress before you add it to the oil. Working fast, toss watercress into mixture, making sure it is well coated and barely heated through. If left too long it loses some of its crispiness. Season to taste and serve immediately.


Many thanks to the members of the Nut Cookbook team who gave of their precious time to prepare this attractive cookbook -- Jean Giblin, Louise Watt and Don Stalker. Special thanks to Alec Jones for the nut tree lore at the beginning of each chapter and to Hank Jones for creatively compiling and computing all the recipes. And last but not least, my most heartfelt thanks to all the SONG members and their friends who contributed their favourite nut recipes to fill this little book to overflowing.

Polly Forrestall-Jones, Editor.

Canada Nutculture Association, Ottawa, Canada: "Progress through Research & Development"