Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
For those of you who have walnut trees and don't know what to do with all the nuts; here's a traditional greek recipe for a spoon sweet -- a 'green' walnut preserve. You pick the walnuts when they're still unripe and the shell has not hardened and make this lovely sweet which can be served as is, in tiny amounts, on tiny plates, with a glass of ice-cold water (as it is here in Greece), or chop up the nuts and drizzle over some ice cream with a little of the syrup. The whole procedure is done over 2 days, but it is very simple to do.
- 2 lbs green unripened walnuts, shells still soft
- 2 lbs sugar
- 3 cups water
- 2 vanilla beans
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 lb blanched almond (you may need slightly more - 1 whole blanched almond per walnut)
- Wash the walnuts well; place in a saucepan and add water to cover by two to 3 inches; boil until the walnuts have got quite soft (there is no time for this); remove from water and put in a large bowl with enough cold water to cover; leave in water for 48 hours, changing water every 8 hours.
- Boil the 2 lbs sugar with 3 cups water for 8 minutes; drain the walnuts from the water and insert an entire blanched almond into the centre of each walnut (this is done most easily using the pointy end of the almond to push it in); add the walnuts to the syrup and boil for 5-7 minutes; remove the saucepan from the fire and leave the walnuts to cool in the syrup for 24 hours.
- Put the saucepan back on the fire and bring to a boil again; skim off any foam that develops on the surface; boil until the syrup thickens no time is given for this, add the lemon juice and the vanilla beans; continue boiling the walnuts for a few more minutes (5-8?) and remove from the fire; when cold, put up in jars.