I've been looking forward to this week's post as an opportunity to evangalize on behalf of Juglans Nigra. Here in North America, where we have a tendency to believe imported food delicacies to be automatically superior, I'm proud to proclaim that I am a black walnut snob.
I grew up in rural Missouri, the world's largest producer of black walnuts. I didn't taste a Persian walnut (commonly known as English walnut) until my family moved to the city and we began to buy our nuts from grocery stores instead of picking them up in the woods. Faced with having to pay real money, my mother tried the much cheaper, English walnuts.
My family quickly learned that compared to the robust flavor we were accustomed to, the English walnut is boringly bland.
I'll acknowledge that some people may prefer the prettier but anemic English walnut. Those people probably also prefer cafe Americano to a fresh bold espresso.
Marcella's recipe for Walnut Cake is a most delicious way to prove for yourself the superiority of the black walnut. I challenge you to make two - one with black walnuts, and one with English walnuts. Then come back here and tell my what you think.
The ingredients include butter, sugar, egg, grated lemon peel, flour, baking powder, rum, and walnuts. The cake is baked in a springform pan.
After finely grinding the roasted walnut meats, combine them with the rest of your ingredients. You will have a stiff batter. bake it at 325 for about 45 minutes.
As Marcella advises, "The concentrated flavor of this walnut cake makes a modest slice amply satisfying." I served ours with freshly churned pear ice cream, tying the flavors together by drizzling both with my homemade Black Walnut & Pear Brandy.
If you would like to learn more about the uniquely North American black walnut -- www.hammonsproducts.com