Glyko Karydaki, is a Greek fruit preserve of small (or young) walnuts and it is one of the best Greek traditional spoon sweets.
The spoon sweet is made with unripe green walnuts around the end of Spring or early summer, when the inner shell (the endocarp), has not become hard.
Karydaki (pr. kah-ree-DHA-kee) in Greek, is the diminutive of karydia which are the walnuts when they are still green and tender.
The procedure for making it is a bit labour intensive but it is worth while.
What time of the year can I make the preserve?
Use the tenderest ones you can find, the older they are the harder they tend to be. They are best picked when they just come out, end of May till mid-June.
In places with high altitude they grow and ripen a bit later.
Cut the walnut in the middle and if it is hard to cut with a knife, it means that the shell inside (endocarp) has hardened. In that case you can use the walnuts to make Walnut Liqueur.
Note: to those in the Southern Hemisphere: you’ll want to pick your walnuts in December.
How to Peel the walnuts
The most time consuming part of making glyko karydaki, is peeling it.
It takes about 1 minute to peel each fruit.
You can peel “karydaki” or green walnuts use a pairing knife to peel them or a vegetable peeler, which is preferable as with a peeler you can peel the fruit evenly.
I found out that putting the fruit on a skewer, helps speed up the procedure of peeling each walnut and reduces the time to almost half.
Some people do not peel the fruit before peeling it and when it becomes soft after boiling, they scrub away the peel. However, I have not tested this method.
Removing the bitterness
Fresh walnuts are very bitter, so after boiling them once for only three minutes, you put them in water, which you have to change at least twice a day for six days. If you change the water more often then you can reduce the time before its preparation. .
During this process, they start turning black, so don’t worry as this is normal.
Why use Pickling Lime
As for most spoon sweets the fruit is soaked in pickling lime (asvesti) which helps them stay crunchy.
When my mother used to make spoon sweets and her mother before, they used to go to constructions and get some quick lime but you can find some in your local supermarkets or you can get some pickling lime on the internet.
I want to say here that it is better to use pickling lime but if you can’t find any you can still make the preserve without it.
Pickling lime just makes it more crunchy.
Procedure of making Glyko Karydaki
Peel the green walnuts (see video).
(Be sure to wear latex gloves, otherwise your hands will go black. It takes a few days for the dye to wash off).
Poke them with a skewer.
Put them in a bowl with water to cover them.
Change the water twice a day for six days.
Dissolve pickling lime with water and put the walnuts in the lime water for 3 – 4 hours.
Wash thoroughly, two or three times.
Boil the walnuts, gradually, until soft.
(To know if the walnuts are ready, you should make the needle test. Take a skewer or a needle and prick the walnuts, if the needle passes through the walnut and comes out easily, then the walnuts are ready for the final process and syrup).
In the meantime, blanch and roast the almonds and sterilize the jars.
When the walnuts cool, add a clove and a roasted almond in each.
Put them in water with lemon juice for 1 hour. Discard the water.
Add the sugar (or sugar and honey), cinnamon stick and water and mix until the sugar dissolves.
Boil until the temperature reaches 105o C. If you don’t have a thermometre, there are also instructions for the old-fashioned way of doing the preserve.
Add the leftover lemon juice.
Store in sterilized jars.
If you do not have a thermometer, use this method: After the sugar dissolves, boil them for 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Repeat this boiling procedure 6 - 8 times (twice a day). Check to see if the syrup has thickened. Add the remaining lemon juice. At no time should you put the lid on the saucepan during the whole procedure.. Allow to cool in the pot and then store in clean and dry sterilized jars.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 21gProtein: 6g
If you do not have a thermometer, use this method:
After the sugar dissolves, boil them for 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Repeat this boiling procedure 6 - 8 times (twice a day). Check to see if the syrup has thickened.
Add the remaining lemon juice.
At no time should you put the lid on the saucepan during the whole procedure..
Allow to cool in the pot and then store in clean and dry sterilized jars.
PIN FOR LATER
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,