It's that time of year again when hickory nuts start to drop.... now through December they are up for grabs if the squirrels don't get them all. Shagbark and shellbark are the two best to use, and I have already picked up a couple dozen under the shagbark in my front yard. Be sure to let the nuts sit on a tray and dry out, or cure, for a couple of weeks. Makes em better in my opinion. Use a nut pick when cracking them, because the shells can be tough and you want to get out those pieces.

Toast the shelled nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven for a few minutes, just to make them a little more brown than they are without burning. This is when they are at their peak of quality, makes them so much better than they already are.

Hickory nuts have a richer flavor than pecans. Not as sweet, but a better flavor in my opinion. Don't worry about their not being as sweet though, the pie takes care of that.

I posted this recipe last year if I am not mistaken. But for those who missed it, here it is again. I found a pecan pie recipe about 4 years ago and substituted butter for oleo, and hickory nuts for pecans. This recipe does not call for corn syrup like most pies. You can stir in some melted chocolate chips as well to make a chocolate hickory nut pie (or pecan pie).


1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. cream or canned milk
1 c. toasted hickory nuts
3/4 c. butter, melted
vanilla to taste


Mix sugar, flour, salt; add eggs, cream and butter and beat well by hand.
Add vanilla and fold in pecans. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375
degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.

Wish I knew where a pic of one of these pies was. I have far too many pics to bother digging through right now.

If any of yall decide to try this sometime, let me know how you like it, cause I don't think I know anyone else who uses hickory nuts.