Boxted Wet Walnuts are a nutrition-packed local delicacy available for just couple of weeks of the year.
Softer, plumper and milkier than their dried Christmas counterparts, they are perfect for baking, snacking and cooking or as an accompaniment to a glass of Dedham Vale Wine and a slice of fine cheese.
The wet walnut season is short and starts at the end of September. The Wet Walnut Shop has now closed for 2017.
A rare and picturesque example of an early twentieth century walnut orchard, the walnut trees were planted in 1935 and include East Anglian varieties such as Champion of Ixworth, Bardwel and Stowlangtoft.
The site is the only remaining example of a 1927 project to rejuvenate English walnut growing and the DV Team and landowner are working with the RHS to bring the walnuts back into production and preserve this important orchard for future generations.
At the height of popularity, wet walnuts were an Edwardian epicurian delight with Boxted Walnuts sold at Fortnum & Mason and gracing the tables of Buckingham Palace and London clubs, where polished nuts were served with a glass of port after dinner. We are delighted to be involved in the regeneration of this historic local delicacy.
WALNUT & PARSLEY PESTO - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
From Let's go nuts - Guardian Food & Drink
1 fat garlic clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
100g hard, mature goat's cheese (or Parmesan), grated
50g flat-leaf parsley leaves
About 150ml good olive oil (or extra-virgin rapeseed oil)
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the walnuts and garlic into a food processor and process until finely chopped - but still with some granular texture. Add the cheese and process again briefly. Add the parsley and blitz again to chop the leaves, then begin trickling in the oil, while the processor runs. Stop when you have a sloppy purée. Taste, season as necessary with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you don't have a food processor, you can make the pesto with a large pestle and mortar, crushing the ingredients together in the same order.
Store in the fridge - if you completely cover the surface of the pesto with oil so all air is excluded, it should keep for a couple of weeks.
PLUM AND WALNUT CAKE - Nigel Slater
From Market Forces - Guardian Life & Style
A wonderfully moist, shallow plum cake, best eaten on the day you bake it. Serves 9-12.
150g unrefined golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
75g plain flour
tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
50g shelled walnuts
Set the oven at 175C/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 20-22cm cake tin with baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. A food mixer will do this far more efficiently than by hand. Stop when the mixture is light, soft and the colour of vanilla ice cream. Meanwhile, halve the plums, remove the stones, then cut each half in two.
Break the eggs, beat lightly with a fork, then add them bit by bit to the butter and sugar. Sift the four and baking powder together and fold them gently into the mixture. I do this with a large metal spoon rather than the food mixer. Fold in the ground almonds, then chop the walnuts so they are the size of small gravel, then fold them in, too.
Scrape the mixture into the cake tin. Place the quartered plums on the cake mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes, then test with a skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.
Dry or freeze your nuts for Christmas!
Make the season last even longer! Walnuts can be dried in the shell, or shelled and frozen to save this perfect ingredient for Christmas and beyond.
Freeze a batch and use to make this scrummy Cranberry, Walnut & Bacon Stuffing to serve with your KellyBronze Turkey - available to order for collection from the vineyard.