Walnut paste is an excellent vegan replacement of creme fraiche or cream in general in a variety of dishes. Walnuts do have a slightly bitter taste, so do not use it to replace the dairy cream in a smoked salmon or a smoked mackerel dish. But when making pate’s, including fish pate’s it is my favorite replacement.
I use it regularly also in mushroom pate and in a Pate de Campagne. Use it in dishes like hummus if you want to replace the sesame paste by a paste of another nut. It is easy to make. It can be stored in the fridge for a week in a closed container.
The art of making walnut paste
For making walnut paste, you can use stored or fresh whole walnuts. Peel them or you can use already peeled walnuts from the store. As the oils in walnuts can easily oxidize and become rancid, it is important to use intact (half) walnuts. All that is needed is to place the nuts in the kitchen blender. Then add the lemon juice, optionally some salt and run it. If the paste is still too rough add some cold water and blend again until smooth.
The color of your walnut cream is off-white with a pink hue. Due to the high vegetable oil content of walnuts, and the presence of some phytochemicals, this paste is a very healthy substitute for cream and has substantial binding properties.