how to cook chestnuts

three easy methods

Want to know how to cook chestnuts? 

Cooking chestnuts is something that is so romantic – it's something that is done every Autumn when there is a supply of these beautiful fruits from the chestnut trees.

J’adore les marrons Yes, I love chestnuts and the chestnut festival in France or Fête des Châtaignes in the Alpes-Maritimes area in France take place every year from October until November and is a celebration of the beautiful, versatile chestnuts.

If you can gather the fresh chestnuts yourself, that's fantastic, it is so wonderful and will bring many happy memories for your children, too.

They are a great addition to your Halloween party as well as for Christmas feast. If you don't have the opportunity to gather marrons (which is what they are called in French), for yourself you will find them in the grocery shops at this time of year and will continue to do so until well up to Christmas as they are part of the traditional feast at this time of year.

So having gathered your chestnuts or bought them from the supermarket, you will want to know how to cook chestnuts in order to enjoy them.

1. They can be cooked on an open fire but you have to be careful as they will explode. So to prevent this make a slit in the chestnut with a sharp knife before cooking them and cut through to the fleshy nut inside.

You will need a special roasting pan for roasting them on the fire which has a long handle and it has holes in the bottom. Another good idea is to use a popcorn popper with a lid, so if they burst you will not get any hot bits flying out at you! They will take about 20 minutes to cook.

2. The easiest method I think is to cook them in the oven on a baking tray and you will simply slit them and pop them on the tray for about 20 minutes in the oven and they will be so good everyone will want to peel their own to eat there and then.

3. Chestnuts can also be boiled and this is a good method if you want a chestnut purée for use in a recipe.

To cook in this manner, simply wash the chestnut under running water and cut in half. Check for any signs of worms as often you will find them in fresh fruits, shows they are organic! Pop them in a pan of water, bring to boil and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. When cooked, remove the shells and when cool  they can be used as you want. A chestnut puree can be used in such things as this lovely chestnut gateaux.

You can buy chestnut puree in cans/tins from good supermarkets or specialist food stores and it is very useful to have in for Christmas time.

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