Over the last couple of days I shelled a little more than a pint and a half of the wild hickory nuts I’ve been gathering on my walks. To get the most use out of them I decided to make a new batch of flavor extract (like I did last year).
Hickory nuts give off such a wonderful aroma when they are dry roasting, I wish I could bottle it…. Well, I guess that’s pretty much what I am doing.
I set a third of a cup or so of the roasted nuts aside to use in the pancake batter and put the rest into a quart jar, then poured 100 proof (50% alcohol) vodka over the still hot nuts. I will add a few more nuts and perhaps more alcohol to the jar as I gather, shell and roast more of them in the coming days. The extract will be ready to start using in a couple of months and will keep indefinitely, getting better with time. Both the liquid extract and the soaked nuts can be used in recipes.
The dry ingredients I used for the pancakes were:
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 to 1/4 cup roasted hickory nuts
Wet ingredients were:
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- apple juice as needed for consistency
I didn’t mash the banana but chopped it into small pieces and folded it in after the batter was mixed.
It wasn’t a thin runny batter, so to help the pancakes cook through I covered the pan with a lid.
There is quite a bit of last years hickory nut flavor extract left and I used that plus some of the soaked nuts to make a syrup. I poured agave nectar into a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. When the agave started to bubble I added the soaked hickory nuts and the liquid extract (probably 1/3 to 1/2 cup of each). I immediately set it on fire to burn off the alcohol.
I asked Faye which was the more dominant flavor, the hickory nuts or the banana. She hadn’t even realized there was banana in the pancakes until I asked the question. This breakfast was a real treat.