At the beginning of the autumn, on a beautiful sunshiny day, we went for a long walk in the woods. Beautiful ancient woods at the top of a valley. The autumn colours were just beginning to turn. It was just lovely.
Where we stopped for our picnic there was a hazelnut grove. We collected as many nuts as we could.
From the hedgerows we also collected blackberries and rosehips, but that’s for another blog.
The hazelnuts were a pale shade of beige, so we left them in a bowl for a few weeks to dry out.
Then the chief nutcracker set about cracking them. It took him a while.
I then got to do the fun bit: make the hazelnut butter.
I roasted them in the oven at gas mk 3/160C for half an hour.
I tumbled them into the blender and gave them a whizz.
Unless you’ve got a vitamix or some other super-duper blender then adding a little oil to the nuts can help.
Tip: add melted coconut oil, which sets at room temperature, and therefore stops the nut butter becoming too runny.
To 8oz nuts I added 1 tbs of melted coconut oil…. and a drizzle extra if required. I also added a good pinch of himalayan salt.
I ground the nuts to a smooth butter, decanted it into a jar, popped on the lid, and into the refrigerator. I scooped out the little bits around the side of the blender jug.
Let me tell you, it tastes divine.
It tastes like heaven. Must be the freshness of the nuts. And the light roasting….
When it was ready to try, I made some toast, brewed a pot of macha and sliced a banana, while a conversation ensued.
‘OMG, that’s wonderful,’ I said.
It truly is,’ he replied.
‘The thing is,’ I said, eyeing the pot, ‘you are someone who prefers quantity over quality….’
I know I’m treading on thin ice, but there’s a lot at stake. A jar of hazelnut butter heaven. And there’s peanut butter in the cupboard.
‘That is true,’ he says.
I consider his agreement at this point to be heroic, as it does nothing to further his cause.
‘However,’ he continues, I did crack all the nuts. Cheerfully. Mindfully, even.’
I cannot disagree. It looks like the little pot of heaven is for sharing.