The shell of a macadamia nut is notoriously difficult to crack. The force required to shell a raw nut can pulverize the interior meat.
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But with patience to let the macadamia slowly roast, you can dry the nuts in their shell and get the meat out to use for further roasting or in recipes like nut-crusted tilapia or white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. The shell will still be difficult to remove, so you'll want to use a special tool that removes the shell without damage to the interior meat.
Things You'll Need
Macadamia nuts in shells
Pierced baking sheet
- Remove the fibrous outer husk of the macadamia nut, leaving the hard shell intact.
- Place the nut, in its shell, on a porous surface at room temperature. Don't pile the nuts more than two deep in the drying area. And don't drop the nuts on top of one another, as dropping bruises and discolors the meat.
- While you can leave the nuts to dry in their shell for two weeks and then shell them, placing them in a low-heat oven speeds up the process.
- Place the nuts, still in their shells on a porous surface, such as a pierced baking sheet, in the oven.
- Set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check the nuts after 24 hours. The nuts are ready when the meat shakes inside the shell. This means the moisture content is low enough that the nut meat is ready for use.
- Crack the nuts and separate the shells. The nuts should be dry enough to crack at this stage according to the University of Hawaii's Cooperative Extension Service.
- Use a vice or specialized tool to remove the outer shell and make the nutmeat available for use.
- At this point, the nuts are ready to roast, or can be eaten raw.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the shelled nuts on a baking pan, ensuring that they're dispersed in an even layer.
- Bake the nuts for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they're light, golden brown.
- Remove the nuts and store in tightly closed jars.
According to the University of Hawaii's Cooperative Extension Services, roasted macadamia nuts may be kept for up to one year in the freezer.