This pickle is derıved from a traditional country recipe. Served with bread and cheese, it is an excellent standby for quick and easy lunches and suppers. To produce a superior pickle, use only the best quality vinegar.
1 kg fresh green walnuts
1 cup cooking salt
10 cups water
5 cups malt vinegar
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cloves
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Gather walnuts for pickling in early summer while they are still green, and before the shells have begun to form. To protect your hands while preparing them, wear disposable plastic gloves. Walnut stains are persistent and difficult to remove.
Test the walnuts by pricking them with a darning needle – they should be soft. Discard any that are firm and resist the needle as this means that the shell has started to form.
Prick the selected walnuts all over with a silver fork and put them in a large bowl. Dissolve half of the salt in half of the water, then pour over the walnuts, making sure that they are covered with the brine. If necessary, place a clean plate on the surface to keep the walnuts submerged. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to soak, stirring occasionally, for seven days.
Drain, cover with brine made with the remaining salt and water, and leave for seven more days, stirring occasionally.
Drain the walnuts well and spread them, in single layers, on dishes. Leave them outside in the open air, preferably in the sunshine, for a couple of days until they are black. (Take them in each night.)
Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a stainless-steel or enamel saucepan and add the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, pickling spice, black peppercorns and cloves. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to cool.
Pack the blackened walnuts in clean, dry jars. Strain the spiced vinegar into an enamel or stainless-steel saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the vinegar over the walnuts, making sure that they are well covered. Cover the jars with vinegarproof lids, label and store. Let the pickled walnuts mature in a cool, dark cupboard for one month before eating.