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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Black Walnut And Maple Butter

I foraged for these walnuts at my house in Columbus, Indiana. Now it's time to turn them into a taste topping for pancakes!

These Wheat Germ Pancakes were highlighted by a tasty walnut and maple butter and a splash of local maple syrup.

Before you get started with this recipe, toast the walnuts. This concentrates the essential oils, intensifying the flavor and making them crispier.

But the big thing about toasting nuts is that they go from brown to black in seconds flat. I suggest setting a timer every few minutes to force you to check on them regularly. If you do burn some nuts, discard the burnt ones and save the rest. Nuts are really expensive, so you don’t want burn them too many times.

This recipe features grade B maple syrup from Burton’s Maplewood Farm, which has a more robust flavor than grade A syrup. It also includes lemon juice and zest. The acidity will cut a little bit of the sweetness of the maple syrup.

Make a full pound of flavored butter and store it in the refrigerator or freezer to enjoy throughout the winter months.

Black Walnut And Maple Butter


  • 1/2 cup toasted black walnuts
  • 1/2 pound room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Leave butter out the night before to make sure it’s nice and soft.
  2. Toast the walnuts.
  3. Combine ingredients and season to taste.
  4. Roll in plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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