HAZELNUT RECIPES

Courtesy of the Hazelnut Growers of Australia

Hazelnuts are a very versatile nut. They will keep in their shells without loss of flavour or nutritional value. They can be shelled and eaten whole. They can be roasted. Chopped or ground they can be served as a garnish to fruit and icecream desserts, or used in breakfast cereals, and many recipes for biscuits, cakes, etc.

To roast hazelnuts: spread shelled hazelnuts in a shallow pan, Bake at 120 deg. C for 15 minutes stirring nuts occasionally during baking. They should look creamy white in colour. Rub the nuts in a dry tea towel to remove the outer papery inner skin.

HAZELNUT LORE

Hazels are the symbol of peace.

Hazel branches or rods are believed to have great powers:

HEDGEROW HARVEST JAM

Midsummer in Tasmania means roadside fruit at its peak and as I drive home from Wynyard to Preolenna I pass trees on the road verges laden with crab apples, blackberry plants covered in ripe fruit and hawthorn berries (haws) glistening in the sunshine. At home we have apples, blackberries and hazelnuts. This is an English recipe designed for this harvest time. The sloes are optional. Make sure the roadsides have not been sprayed recently. Our council mows the road verges in midsummer.

WASH THE FRUIT! Peel, chop and core the crab apples. Hull and pick over the blackberries. Remove the elderberries from the storks - use the prongs of a fork for this. Prick the sloes serveral times a needle and remove the tops and tails of the haws. Chop the nuts. Put the prepared fruit and nuts into a pan with the water and cook until soft. Will cooking watch for sloe stones and remove as you go. Add the sugar, stirring well until dissolved. Bring to boil and boil hard until set obtained. Pot and seal. Cherry plums and wild cherry could be added instead of sloes.

HAZEL-HONEY DRINK

Chop 225 g of hazelnuts and put them through a coffee grinder or liquidize them. Add 750 ml of milk and 6 tablespoons of honey. Whisk.....serve chilled. A protein packed drink.

SPICY HAZELNUTS

Heat the oil in a saute pan, add the nuts and toss until well coated. Sprinkle in most of the spices and sugar, reserving a little, then toss again. Place the nuts in a large roasting tray. Bake in the oven at 180 deg C for 45 minutes turning regularly so that they become brown and crisp. Cool, then dry on absorbent kitchen paper. Sprinkle with the rest of the spices and sugar. Store in airtight jars, they will keep indefinitely. Makes 450g.

HAZELNUT SALAD

Combine sliced of peeled tomatoes, cucumber and chopped celery with 1 cup of hazelnuts. Lightly toss in vinaigrette dressing with 1 teaspoon cinnamon added. Spoon into large crisp lettuce leaves.

HAZELNUT MACAROONS

Reserve 12 hazelnuts for decoration and chop the remainder. Toast the chopped nuts under the grill, shaking them until browned. Grind them finely.

Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until very stiff. Beat in half the sugar and beat again until the mixture becomes shiny. Fold in the nuts and the rest of the sugar. Put tablespoons of the mixture on the greased and floured rice paper. Press a whole nut into the centre of each one. Bake in the oven at 170 deg C for 30-40 minutes until set and slightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12.

HAZELNUT FINGERS

Cream butter and sugar and add egg. Beat well. Sift flour and with ground nuts stir into mixture. Press mixture into prepared tin and bake 350 deg.F for 15-20 minutes. Cool and cut into fingers.

HAZELNUT CRISPS

Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup. Stir in nuts, flour and boiling water. Put small spoonfuls onto greased trays and bake in moderately slow oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes before removing from trays. Makes approximately 3 dozen.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TRUFFLES

Mix sifted icing sugar with hazelnuts, stir in just enough egg white to make a firm paste. Add cream. Melt chocolate carefully, blend in hazelnut mixture stirring with a wooden spoon. Add rum. Turn into a shallow pan lined with lightly greased paper. Put aside in a cool place until set. When mixture is firm but still soft cut into small squares then roll into balls between palms of hands. Roll in sprinkles. Refrigerate.

HAZELNUT CREAM

Bring the milk and nuts to the boil in a small saucepan. Pour onto mixture of the beaten egg yolks, sugar and reheat stirring until thick. Add the gelatine and coffee and cool. When not quite set, fold in the cream, pour into dishes and chill in the refrigerator.

HAZELNUT MERINGUE SHELLS

Preheat over to 250 deg. F (very slow). Add cream of tartar and salt to egg whites and beat until foamy. Add sugar gradually, beating constantly, until very stiff peaks form. Fold in the nuts. Drop meringue into 6 or 12 mounds onto heavy brown paper or aluminium foil on a baking tray. Using the back of a spoon, form a hollow in the centre of each mound. Bake 1 hour. Turn off heat and let meringues cool in oven (1 1/2 hours). Serve filled with ice cream or cream and fruit.

CANDIED HAZELNUTS

Shell the nuts, blanch and skin them. Make up a syrup in the proportions of 100g/4oz sugar to 600ml/1 pint water and simmer the nuts in this for 1 hour. Let them cool in the pan and then heat gently adding a further 50g/2oz of the sugar to the pan. Bring to the boil for 1 hour and allow to cool. Continue to repeat this process until the syrup candies when cooled. As soon as this looks like happening remove the nuts with a perforated spoon, put them in a tray. Dust well with icing sugar and leave them in the sun or a cool oven with the door ajar, to dry. When they are dry, pack and store in greaseproof paper.

Use the candied syrup to pour over icecream.