Crystallised Nuts

Crystallised Nuts

Crystallised Nuts|Fine Dining at Home.

This is such a simple recipe, but one I believe not too many of us know how to do. I love crystallised nuts on desserts or as snacks, rather than candied or caramelised ones. I do like my teeth and don’t want to damage any by cracking them on hard candy. There are loads of recipes that call for the caramelised versions, but the crystallised ones are quite tricky to find. Not only is the coating light and crisp, it can also be flavoured giving a wonderful light shell to the nuts.

How and why are these different? In most aspects of using sugar we never really want large grainy crystals, they just don’t have a great mouth feel. Think of the effort we go to in making ice cream, the use of egg yolks are there to help attain tiny sugar crystals rather than larger ones. As we melt sugar in water, all the molecules separate. The important point now is how we turn this back into sugar. The magic happens around 38°c.

If you touch the sugar above this temperature, ie metal spoon, the fast free flowing molecules will space themselves out and create large crystals. If you do the same thing below 38°c, there is less energy and so small crystals are formed and you essentially create fondant.

Try the basic recipe below, and once confident you can try adding powders to the sugar to flavour it. Curry, cinnamon, ginger etc.[purerecipe]


  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Nuts(I used Pistachios)
  • Pinch of salt.


  1. Add 75ml water to the sugar, heat in a heavy based pan until it reaches 135°c.
  2. As you are doing this add the nuts to a 170°c oven to warm through, up to 10mins.
  3. Once the sugar is up to temperature, take off the heat and add the nuts. Stir with a whisk until the solution hardens, crystallises and sticks to the nuts.
  4. Spread onto baking parchment to cool. If you can wait that long!


  1. What a coincidence, I stumbled upon this method quite by accident while I was making candied orange peel for an upcoming post. I was able to save my experiment by adding a bit more water to it and remelting the sugar. Next time I’ll just add nuts, I always keep walnuts, almonds and pine nuts in my freezer. The presentation is quite lovely, in my favourite adult beverage glass.

  2. I Love pistachios and cook with them a lot. I have never eaten them crystallized! What a treat! Very delicious recipe!

  3. I have not used the crystallized version…will try the next time I do nuts.

  4. I know what you mean about those hard candied nuts, they hurt my teeth too. These look divine and seem pretty easy to make. I’d like to make some spicy cinnamon.


  5. I love roasty toasty almonds and walnuts, and they’re even better when they have a nice candy shell! Will definitely be trying your recipe – they look far superior from the candied nuts I’m used to buying at the store!

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