Jessi’s Crystal-dusted Christmas Nuts

The other day I had a Saturday Lunch Crisis. No pud. Lots of people. High expectations.

I pondered, without enlightenment. And then there was a merciful interruption. Jessi, who was helping, suggested she coat some nuts with sugar and serve them with ice cream.

I was willing to try anything, but these turned out to be popular and admired by all.

And I was grateful when she shared the secret with me – there are no quantities.

You can sprinkle over ice cream, or even better, over Miss Molly’s Marvellous Meringue Terrine. Jessi advises simply nibbling at them like sweets (quite addictive she warns).

And, surprisingly, they are also good (minus the nougat) with roast meat (see A Remarkable Roast for Two), or with Charlotte’s Caramelised Carrots.


Recipe for Jessi’s crystal-dusted Christmas nuts

Serves about two, thrown onto something else; or one to enjoy with a drink


  • 30g/⅓ cup nuts – knobbly nuts are best, walnut and pecans 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • turrón or nougat, chopped into small dice (optional)


  1. Dry fry (go here to find out why) the nuts in a small saucepan.
  2. When you can smell the nuts, add in a helping of maple syrup, to coat.
  3. When the sugar in the syrup begins to crystallise stop, and crush the nuts a little to break up any large pieces with the end of a rolling pin, or a pestle.
  4. When cool, add the chopped nougat or turrón if using.


This post is, of course, dedicated to Jessi McGarry.



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