What to do with HICKORY NUTS ???

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mayor al
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2008/07/09 12:29:01 (permalink)

What to do with HICKORY NUTS ???


We have a couple of mature Shagbark Hickory trees on our property. Every couple of years they put out a banner crop of nuts that, up to now, we have left to the birds and squirrels. This is one of the years that will give us a lot of nuts later in the Fall. We want to try to make use of some of the nuts.

My question is- What should you do with Hickory Nuts? I guess I should clarify my request. I have seen recipes for using Hickory Nuts in place of Walnuts and Pecans in various dishes and pies, but are there any 'tricks' to treating and shelling the nuts, or other action (toasting?) that will make them more useful.
Any tips or suggestions by you Nut-Lovers will be appreciated!
#1

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    rongmtek
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 12:57:50 (permalink)
    I have several old hickory trees that provide lots of food for the abundant squirrels here in the lower Hudson Valley. I also have a neighbor, a Frenchwoman "of a certain age", who very politely asks me each fall if she can have the nuts that the critters leave behind.
    She makes flour out of the ground hickory nuts, and says it's a delicacy.
    She also told me she uses a vise to crack them open (they are quite hard), and carefully picks out the nut meats.
    Too much work for me. I buy my nuts at COSTCO, shelled and in a bag.
    Ron


    #2
    Scorereader
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 13:01:49 (permalink)
    I don't know much about how to prepare hickory nuts, but I do know that not all hickory nuts are good to eat. You may want to do some research, to make sure your hickory nuts are the edible kind that taste good (some hickory nuts are bitter to foul). Pecan is an edible hickory nut, for example. Some types, such as the bitter hickory should be left for the birds.
    #3
    WarToad
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 13:06:53 (permalink)
    In boy scouts we went through numerous backcountry survival skill weekends and one lesson that came to prove usefull decades later was our troop leader showing us how to grind acorns into meal and use it as a flour to make pancakes. (Don't. Acorn pancakes suck.)

    Using more savory nuts like peanuts, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts(YUM!), you can grind these to a meal/flour in a food processor and replace 1/4 the flour in your pancake recipe for a nutty twist.

    I've never done this with hickory nuts, but I bet it'd be a fun weekend breakfast experiment.
    #4
    Sundancer7
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 13:07:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    We have a couple of mature Shagbark Hickory trees on our property. Every couple of years they put out a banner crop of nuts that, up to now, we have left to the birds and squirrels. This is one of the years that will give us a lot of nuts later in the Fall. We want to try to make use of some of the nuts.

    My question is- What should you do with Hickory Nuts? I guess I should clarify my request. I have seen recipes for using Hickory Nuts in place of Walnuts and Pecans in various dishes and pies, but are there any 'tricks' to treating and shelling the nuts, or other action (toasting?) that will make them more useful.
    Any tips or suggestions by you Nut-Lovers will be appreciated!


    I know that the bark is used by some to make a syrup similar to maple syrup but is a little more bitter and smoky.

    The nut is considered by many to be equal to the peacn although it is more difficult to extract.

    I also know that the hickory nut is kin to the pecan.

    Do not park your car underneath a hickory tree in the fall as you will have dings.

    Mamaw Smith use to use them as a replacement in her pecan pie. I thought at the time that they were just as good and slightly sweeter. They were more work though.

    Some other thoughts about Shakbark:

    http://www.hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek030908.html

    Pazul E. Smith
    knoxville, TN

    #5
    Rusty246
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 13:30:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    We have a couple of mature Shagbark Hickory trees on our property. Every couple of years they put out a banner crop of nuts that, up to now, we have left to the birds and squirrels. This is one of the years that will give us a lot of nuts later in the Fall. We want to try to make use of some of the nuts.

    My question is- What should you do with Hickory Nuts? I guess I should clarify my request. I have seen recipes for using Hickory Nuts in place of Walnuts and Pecans in various dishes and pies, but are there any 'tricks' to treating and shelling the nuts, or other action (toasting?) that will make them more useful.
    Any tips or suggestions by you Nut-Lovers will be appreciated!

    Once the squirrels get done with them take the halves and put them in a 5 gallon bucket with some water, soak them and throw them in your grill when you cook.
    #6
    Pogo
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 15:01:07 (permalink)
    Here is the secret to getting the nut meats from a hickory nut:

    Crack the nuts
    Put the cracked nuts in a paper bag, roll the top of the bag over
    Leave the nuts overnight in the bag
    Next day, use a large needle to pick the nut meats out of the shell

    By leaving the nuts overnight in the bag it allows the nutmeats to shrink slightly making it easier to pick them out.

    Hope you're a patient person!
    #7
    UncleVic
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 16:29:04 (permalink)
    I have a dozen or so 60 - 80' Shagbark hickory's in the backyard here. I grab the nuts while they're green.. (toss 5 or 6 of them on top of your charcoal, and you talk about flavor! Alot more depth in flavor vs. using the wood itself.). Otherwise, squirrels will grab them, so I hustle when they start getting near ripe.
    #8
    Donna Douglass
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 16:51:33 (permalink)
    A few years back Redtressed wrote about harvesting hickory nuts and offered to send me some. I declined but maybe she would have some interesting ideas to share with you.

    I used to sit and crack hickory nuts on a brick or large stone with a hammer and a nut pick, giving all the picked nutmeats to my Grandpa to eat. He knew when he had a good deal going for him. Grandma used the nutmeats in cookies, but that's all I remember eating them in as an ingredient.

    Donna
    #9
    chewingthefat
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 17:58:06 (permalink)
    Where's Ewell Gibbons when you need him!
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    RubyRose
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 19:31:26 (permalink)
    We have shellbark hickory trees at our house. I harvest them every 2 or 3 days so I can share the good ones with the squirrels. They seem to instinctively know which ones are bitter and leave those on the ground so if I wait until they're all done snatching them, all I'd be left with was the dregs.

    I've had the best results cracking them with a Farberware metal nut cracker that looks like a tunnel with a large end and a small end. It cracks the outer shell without crushing the brittle inner shell. Then I do exactly as Pogo described above, leaving the cracked nuts in a closed brown paper bag for 24 to 48 hours, before picking with a fine gauge metal crochet hook to coax out the nutmeats.

    Here's a picture of some after shelling a couple of years ago:



    I don't know about the shagbark variety but the shellbarks have a tendency to get rancid quicker than other nuts. I spread them on brown paper covered cookie sheets, preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turn it off, and leave in the nuts in the oven overnight. Next day, I divide them into 1/2 cup portions and my neighbor runs them through his seal-a-meal machine, in exchange for sharing what I make with them. Then I freeze them for later use, always saving one cup for a peach pie with nut topping the following summer.

    I'm not a patient enough picker to get lots of large pieces for eating outright, like pecans or walnuts so I use them exclusively for baking. They're wonderful in cookies, especially ones with brown sugar in them. If I've shelled a larger than usual amount, I'll make one of First Lady Sarah Polk's hickory nut cakes.

    Good luck with your harvest, Mr. Mayor.


    #11
    tiki
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 20:36:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by WarToad

    In boy scouts we went through numerous backcountry survival skill weekends and one lesson that came to prove usefull decades later was our troop leader showing us how to grind acorns into meal and use it as a flour to make pancakes. (Don't. Acorn pancakes suck.)

    Using more savory nuts like peanuts, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts(YUM!), you can grind these to a meal/flour in a food processor and replace 1/4 the flour in your pancake recipe for a nutty twist.

    I've never done this with hickory nuts, but I bet it'd be a fun weekend breakfast experiment.


    Actually SOME acorns are good--but you have to LEACH them out first to get rid of the Tannin.

    as for hickory nuts---try these
    Wild Rice Hickory Nut Salad

    1 cup Wild Rice

    1 cup long-grain brown or white rice

    3 Tbsp olive oil

    6 Tbsp lemon juice

    1½ tsp salt

    6 scallions, minced

    1 cup Hickory (you could use Black Walnuts with this recipe as well)

    2 cups diced apples

    2 cups Chickweed and other tender wild salad greens (or parsley)



    1. Cook wild rice and brown or white rice in separate pans until done. (Note: Use 3-1/2 cups water to 1 cup dry wild rice; use 3 cups water to 1 cup brown or white rice)

    2. Do not stir while cooking or cooling. Let cool completely before mixing salad to avoid rice becoming sticky or gummy.

    3. Add all the above ingredients and mix thoroughly.

    4. Chill and serve, or serve at room temperature.

    This recipe can be adapted freely as long as you use the same amounts of olive oil, lemon juice and salt.







    Maple Hickory Apple Crisp

    This is the yummiest apple crisp recipe I’ve ever tried, after experimenting with apple crisps for many years, I’ve decided that this is the definitive recipe.

    8 cups sliced apples (9 or 10 medium-sized apples)

    1 Tbsp lemon juice

    1 tsp cinnamon

    3 Tbsp flour

    ½ cup water or apple juice



    1. Peel, core and dice enough apples to make 8 cups.

    2. Toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and flour.

    3. Place in a 9x13 baking pan and add the ½ cup water or apple juice.



    Topping:

    1 cup Hickory nuts (use chopped walnuts if you don’t have Hickorys)

    1 cup whole wheat flour

    1 cup rolled oats

    1 cup brown sugar

    1 cup butter

    2 tsp cinnamon

    ¼ - ½ cup Maple Syrup



    1. Chop oats coarsely in a food processor or blender

    2. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon and nuts and whiz until mixed together thoroughly.

    3. Add butter and mix until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. (Note: Filling may get seem too wet, resembling a paste—don’t get discouraged if this happens, just spread it as evenly as you can, it will be just fine!)

    4. Spread topping evenly over the sliced apples.

    5. Drizzle the maple syrup over the topping.

    6. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.

    Hickory Pie

    Since Hickory Nuts are so closely related to pecans, they make a fantastic wild version of pecan pie.



    Pie crust:

    1 cup white flour

    1/3 cup butter or shortening

    ½ tsp salt

    2-3 Tbsp cold water

    Note: I like to make my pie crusts in a food processor. It’s quick and easy and makes a fine, flaky crust.

    1. Put flour, butter and salt in a food processor.

    2. Turn on medium to high, until it forms a coarse, crumbly mixture.

    3. Add 1 Tbsp cold water at a time and blend until it forms into a lump. Be careful not to add too much water.

    4. Roll out as for any pie crust.



    Filling:

    3 eggs

    1 cup brown sugar

    1 cup dark corn syrup

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1/3 cup melted butter

    Pinch of salt



    1. Roll out your crust and line a 9-inch pie plate with it.

    2. Beat brown sugar and eggs together until thick.

    3. Stir in corn syrup, vanilla, butter and salt. Mix well.

    4. Stir in Hickory Nuts.

    5. Pour into prepared pie shell.

    6. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until filling barely jiggles when shaken slightly.

    7. Let pie cool thoroughly so that it can set before serving.

    This pie is excellent when served with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

    And Al---you can make Pecan Sandies--the cookie--with Hickory nuts and put them in with wild rice as a stuffing too.
    #12
    i95
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/09 21:00:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    What should you do with Hickory Nuts?




    Ointment?
    #13
    UncleVic
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/10 02:01:46 (permalink)
    lol
    #14
    Foodbme
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/10 02:05:24 (permalink)
    Some Hickory Nuts, 1 bunch of Chicory + some old loafers = Hickory, Chicory Dockers
    #15
    Michigander
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/10 15:11:34 (permalink)
    When I was a kid, my Grandmother would make cookies with hickory nuts. She called them refrigerator cookies, and she would roll the dough into round rolls that were wrapped in wax paper and kept in the fridge overnight, then sliced and baked the next day. She also made them with pecans and walnuts, depending on what was available. We have her old recipe book, but this one is not in it. If anyone has something similar they would be willing to share, I would appreciate it very much.
    #16
    mayor al
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/10 15:53:29 (permalink)
    Foodbme-

    OK, Got the Hickory Nuts, Got the Chicory, Now if I can get Michael Hoffman and the Ancient Mariner and Seafarer John to visit me I'll have a good supply of Old Loafers !!!

    #17
    rouxdog
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/11 00:30:28 (permalink)
    Al, lots of good suggestions. I can't add much more. Perhaps, quoting Jesse Jackson referring to Barack Obama, "cut his NUTS off".
    After that I have no idea what should happen next.
    #18
    mayor al
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2008/07/11 00:45:40 (permalink)
    Rouxdog,
    It is great to hear from you! Welcome Back. We hope all is well (as it can be) in New Mexico.

    Your Buddy,
    AL
    #19
    JetfireK
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/06/15 12:43:22 (permalink)
    mayor al

    Foodbme-

    OK, Got the Hickory Nuts, Got the Chicory, Now if I can get Michael Hoffman and the Ancient Mariner and Seafarer John to visit me I'll have a good supply of Old Loafers !!!
    I put Hickory Nuts with Husks or not...on the charcoal on my  barbeque pit.  The heat causes the nut to burst open and the oils seep deep into the meats!  My grandmother did this back in the 1940's...Delicious!    Since I no longer have access to Hickory Nuts I now buy them off of the internet by the pound and feel very fortunate to have found them!  Good Luck....and you don't need a lot of them but if you are doing a large barbeque....good luck.....Only works on Charcoal......PS  I wish I had hickory nuts with husks.....but still feel fortunate.. OH and if you no longer want to have any difficulty lighting your charcoal the answer is:  Weber Lighter Cubes...No fuss no muss no odor and they do not go out.....



    post edited by JetfireK - 2012/06/15 12:46:24
    #20
    jettenone
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/22 23:16:22 (permalink)
    Hello, our shagbark hickories are dropping nuts like no-ones business, I can send them with the hull or without.  Just let me know.
     
    Josh
    #21
    BelleReve
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/23 13:52:26 (permalink)
    Michigander-  If you do a search for "refrigerator slice and bake cookies," you'll come up with quite a few recipes.  I've never tried making them.
    #22
    Uncle Groucho
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/23 15:33:08 (permalink)
    Run them over with the mower.
     
    #23
    mayor al
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/24 14:21:41 (permalink)
    We have them on the ground too...next to three Persimmon trees..perfect natural deer bait !!!  (BYE, BYE, BAMBI !!)
    #24
    kevincad
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/24 15:22:28 (permalink)
    Scorereader

    I don't know much about how to prepare hickory nuts, but I do know that not all hickory nuts are good to eat. You may want to do some research, to make sure your hickory nuts are the edible kind that taste good (some hickory nuts are bitter to foul). Pecan is an edible hickory nut, for example. Some types, such as the bitter hickory should be left for the birds.

    Bitternut and Pignut hickory nuts are bitter, Shagbark nuts are good! So, you can eat them right out of the shell. When the husk turns brown and splits, it's time to harvest them. If you aren't going to eat them right away, freeze the shelled nuts until you want to use them. Use them in any recipe calling for pecans, even making a hickory nut pie! 
    #25
    kevincad
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/24 15:25:01 (permalink)
    JetfireK

    mayor al

    Foodbme-

    OK, Got the Hickory Nuts, Got the Chicory, Now if I can get Michael Hoffman and the Ancient Mariner and Seafarer John to visit me I'll have a good supply of Old Loafers !!!
    I put Hickory Nuts with Husks or not...on the charcoal on my  barbeque pit.  The heat causes the nut to burst open and the oils seep deep into the meats!  My grandmother did this back in the 1940's...Delicious!    Since I no longer have access to Hickory Nuts I now buy them off of the internet by the pound and feel very fortunate to have found them!  Good Luck....and you don't need a lot of them but if you are doing a large barbeque....good luck.....Only works on Charcoal......PS  I wish I had hickory nuts with husks.....but still feel fortunate.. OH and if you no longer want to have any difficulty lighting your charcoal the answer is:  Weber Lighter Cubes...No fuss no muss no odor and they do not go out.....



    So you somehow put the nuts over the meat or am I missing something? I want to try this!
    #26
    RubyRose
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/24 16:45:20 (permalink)
    Here are two recipes I use with hickory nuts for what used to be called icebox cookies.  The tightly wrapped rolls can be frozen and then defrosted and baked when needed.
     
    BUTTERSCOTCH NUT SLICES (4 dozen)
     
    6 Tbs. butter or margarine, softened
    2/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1 egg
    ½ tsp. vanilla
    1 ¼ cups flour
    ½ tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. salt
    ½ cup finely chopped hickory, pecans, walnuts, or other nuts
     
    Cream the butter and brown sugar.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add into the creamed mixture.  Stir in nuts.
     
    Shape into two 7 inch rolls; wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for two hours or until firm.  (Can be frozen for later use at this point.)
     
    Unwrap and cut into ¼ inch slices and place on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. 
     
    CRISP MAPLE ROUNDS (yield: about 3 ½ dozen)
     
    1 ½ cups flour
    ¼ cup packed brown sugar
    2 Tbs. sugar
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
    ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
    2/3 cup cold butter
    2 Tbs. maple syrup
    ½ cup chopped pecans, walnuts or hickory nuts
     
    GLAZE
    1 egg yolk
    1 tsp. water
     
    TOPPING
    1 ½ tsp. sugar
    ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
     
    In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in syrup.  Add nuts and mix.  Shape dough into a 12-inch roll; wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.  Unwrap and cut into ¼ inch slices.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets (I used parchment paper.).
     
    For glaze, beat egg yolk and water (I used milk.).  For topping, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Brush glaze over cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks to cool.
     

    above pic is the maple ones
    #27
    ScreamingChicken
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/25 09:56:14 (permalink)
    I'm disappointed that not a single reply has included the word "slingshot"...
    #28
    SeamusD
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/09/25 11:06:39 (permalink)
    Hadn't thought about them in years... we had several shagbark hickory trees around our neighborhood growing up, and we'd just get a couple rocks, and sit underneath the trees, cracking them open and eating the meat. I'm sure the trees are still there, I'll have to take a walk around the old neighborhood and see.
    #29
    allhttp
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    RE: What to do with HICKORY NUTS ??? 2012/12/13 22:24:35 (permalink)
    I would try some hickory nuts.  How much for a pound?
    #30
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