I had a great day out at Carsington Water this week, and on my cycle around the (severly depleated) reseviour, I stopped along the way every so often and picked hazel nuts. Like looking for stars in the twilight, at first you can’t see them at all, but then you see one and then a couple more and then you realise the tree is full of them! Of course they are not ripe yet, but leave them much longer and the squirrels will have had them all! In fact on one tree they had all fallen and lots had been eaten by mice, but I picked what I could as these were much bigger and more like cob nuts.
For me, the best way to enjoy them, is hazelnut meringue, see post a couple of years ago for the receipe (Oct 2009) , but why not give hazelnut butter a go – an alternative to peanut butter! Dry fry 300g of shelled nuts for between 5 and 10 mins, shaking continuously to ensure they are evenly browned. Grind with a pestle and motar, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 sugar and very gradually add up to 1/2 tblsp vegetable oil until the butter becomes smooth. Store in jars and it will last for sometime in the fridge.