6 cups water
4 cups walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
About 1 1/2 hours before serving or up to 2 weeks ahead, in pan over high heat, heat water to boiling. Add walnuts and heat to boiling. Cook 1 minute. Rinse walnuts under running hot water; drain. Wash and and dry well.
In large bowl with spatula, gently stir warm walnuts with sugar until sugar is dissolved. If needed, let mixture stand 5 minutes to dissolve sugar.
Meanwhile, in same pan over medium heat, heat about 1″ oil in pan to 350° on deep fat thermometer. With slotted spoon, add about 1/2 of the walnuts to oil. Fry 5 minutes or until golden. Stir often. With slotted spoon, put walnuts in coarse sieve over bowl to drain. Sprinkle very lightly with salt; toss lightly to keep walnuts from sticking together.
Transfer to paper towels to cool.
Fry remaining walnuts.
Store walnuts in tightly covered container to use up within 2 weeks.