Black walnut preserve

Black Walnut preserve

I adapted a recipe for English walnut preserve that is popular in Turkey and Greece. There are many variations to it. I have a few black walnut trees growing wild on my property and they are very common in the Northeast. 


  1. 30 green Black Walnuts (picked when they're very young, do not use ones that already hardened. I picked these in mind June)
  2. 1/2 lbs of pickling lime (Calcium Hydroxide) It gives a nice crunchy texture to the walnuts. 
  3. 2 cups of sugar
  4. 6 cups of water
  5. 1/2 tsb whole cardamom
  6. 1 Lemon
  • Pick the black walnuts early in season, usually June/July in our area. You need about 25-30. 
  • Peel the skin, and poke them with a fork.


  • Soak them in a bucket of cold water. and change the water regularly, about twice a day for 7 days, you'll notice the water will get darker every day, and the walnuts will change color. 

  • 7 Days later, mix the pickling lime with about 8 cups of water and cover the walnuts with and let them soak for one day stirring occasionally. The walnuts will start turning black.

  • The following day, drain all the pickling lime and wash the walnuts thoroughly in cold water. 
  • Place the walnuts in a pot, and add the sugar then the 6 cups of water. Place over high heat, stir until sugar is dissolved. 
  • Slow down the heat and allow to simmer for 2 hrs over low heat, stirring occasionally.

  • Cut the Lemon in half and add to the mixture along with Cardamom. 

  • Keep simmering for about 30 minutes. check on the walnuts, they should be soft, but a little crispy. You may have to add about 1/2 cup of water to boil them longer if needed.

Once done remove the walnuts and place in jars, and pour the syrup in it. Let it cool. They can be placed on the counter for about a week until the walnuts are ready. 

They are best served chilled. Enjoy


By: Bass Samaan