Monday, 10 October 2011

Cobnuts to you!

This is the first year (yr 2) that I've had a small harvest of cobnuts/filberts from my trees. The trees are Kentish Cob and Purple Filbert. I'm not sure why I felt driven to install these two in my garden when my neighbour has an overgrown hazel hedge that showers the road and pavement with hazel-nuts that I could collect, but they've filled a spot on the North side of a big conifer hedge and appear to be quite happy there. As garden trees they are well behaved and attractive, with the bonus that they produce a bit of late winter interest with their long catkins.

Purple Filbert / Cobnut
I've not quite figured out what I'm supposed to do with the handful of cobnuts I've harvested this year. I tried them "green and sweet", but I didn't warm to that particular delicacy.

I tried following the "microwave nut roasting" recipe, but they went somewhat mushy rather than roasted. Maybe I should have dried them out first. I'll try actually slow-roasting them in an actual oven next time.

My talent at cracking nuts without the aid of a nutcracker has also been called into question. Kitchen scissors with a notch in them - danger Will Robinson, danger! - did not work out so well. Squashing them as you would garlic under a big flat knife resulted in, yes, squashed nuts. Finally, I tried tapping them firmly with a heavy pestle. After several further smooshings, I adjusted to the right amount of pressure to crack the shell without pummelling the nut.

Verdict so far - promising, but I haven't cracked them yet.