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Marrons Glacés/Candied Chestnuts


swissmiss
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Yes - recipe from "better than Store-bought" 

 

Coupe aux Marrons

Recipe By: 
Serving Size: 1

Ingredients:

1 pound dried chestnuts
9 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
1 1/2 vanilla beans
9 tablespoons cognac, brandy or dark rum

Directions:

1. Soak chestnuts overnight in cool water.  Alternately do the quick soak.   Simmer 1 to 3 hours until tender.  Cool in liquid.  Drain the nuts and cut away any clinging bits of skin.  Break each nut into  3 or 4 pieces.  

2. Combine water with sugar, corn syrup and vanilla beans.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Add nuts and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  Remove vanilla bean and save.  Pour into clean jars, top with liquor and seal.  Keeps for months.  

3. Description:

4.   "chestnut pieces in syrup, better than store bought"

5. Yield:

6.   "2 bottles"

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I used to candy chestnuts and I think I posted about it back around 2007 when I posted about candying ginger and several dried fruits, citrus peel and etc.

 

Like the dried fruits and the sliced ginger, I steamed the chestnuts in the shell and then slowly simmered them in vanilla syrup (French style) actually keeping the syrup below a simmer using a crock pot.  

I originally found the technique on a French language site for, I think, holiday foods.  I had to copy the various recipes and paste into a translator page because the site didn't automatically translate.

I had done a search for "Marrons Glacé"  to find that site.  Which also had the procedure for whole glacé fruits.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I found my "recipe/method" for candied chestnuts  from the last time I made a correction in 2009.  Actually the last time I made them, having been gifted with a 5 pound box from an American grower in northern Calif.  Sadly, I don't recall the name of the company, the guy's name was Alan or Alex and he was a friend of mine who breeds dogs and horses, definitely NOT a foodie but who enjoyed the stuff I prepared and took to dog shows when I was still showing. My retired champion Basenji will be 15 on November 2 so it has been a while.

 

I had forgotten that I had made so many changes to the recipe in the last couple of years that I prepared them.  The previous method, in the crockpot was what I used for 20 years.

 

 

Candied Chestnuts

There are several recipes for candied chestnuts on the internet. Most instruct you to boil the shelled chestnuts but I find that too often this produces a mushy result.

This recipe takes about one week to complete.

This is for one pound of chestnuts in the shell, it’s easy enough to double the recipe.

I cut the chestnut shells, steam them for about 8 minutes, which is long enough to loosen the shell and the cuts begin to curl.
I remove the shells, return the chestnuts to the steamer for an additional 2 minutes to make it easier to remove the inner skins and veins.

I change the water in the steamer, rinse the pan and the steam tray well and return the chestnuts to it and steam them for no more than 5 minutes, I begin testing with a thin skewer at 3 minutes and as soon as it penetrates easily, I remove them and blanch them in cold water and immediately drain.

I make my own vanilla syrup ahead of time
For one pound of chestnuts.
1 1/2 cups sugar to 1 cup water,
one whole vanilla bean,
add to the syrup and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Leave the bean in the syrup.

If you have made your syrup ahead of time and it is cold, bring it to a boil and add the chestnuts, stirring constantly and cook at a low boil for 8-10 minutes.

Transfer to a canning jar and set aside to cool. Place the lid loosely on the jar and leave overnight, 18-24 hours.

Make a small batch of new syrup, 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water, bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the chestnuts in their syrup (with the vanilla bean) bring it to a boil and cook for 5-8 minutes.
Remove from heat, return to the jar and soak for another 24 hours.

You will need to repeat this process (do not add more syrup unless there is not enough to partially cover the chestnuts) four more times – figure on it taking almost a week altogether, although the soaking can be extended for up to 2-3 days if you need to.

By the end of this process there should be only a little syrup remaining and the chestnuts should have a slightly translucent appearance on the surface.

Remove the vanilla bean, rinse it well and allow it to dry. It still has some uses.

Place a wire rack on a sheet pan and handling the chestnuts with care, place them on the rack so they are not touching.

Put them in a cold oven and set the heat at 225. Set your timer for 30 minutes and when it sounds, turn off the oven. Do NOT open the door.
Leave the chestnuts in the oven for an hour.
At this point the surface of the chestnuts should be just slightly tacky.

You can set the sheet pan on the counter and leave them to dry further or if you wish, you can roll them in coarsely granulated sugar.

I have a dehydrator and do not use my oven to finish them. I put them in the dehydrator at medium-low heat (115° F) and leave them for 24 hours.

I buy the little paper nut cups at Smart & Final and store the chestnuts in them in a single layer in a cookie tin.

I don’t know how long they will keep, they never last long enough for it to be a consideration.

 

 

 

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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On 10/20/2021 at 3:53 AM, andiesenji said:

I used to candy chestnuts and I think I posted about it back around 2007 when I posted about candying ginger and several dried fruits, citrus peel and etc.

 

Like the dried fruits and the sliced ginger, I steamed the chestnuts in the shell and then slowly simmered them in vanilla syrup (French style) actually keeping the syrup below a simmer using a crock pot.  

I originally found the technique on a French language site for, I think, holiday foods.  I had to copy the various recipes and paste into a translator page because the site didn't automatically translate.

I had done a search for "Marrons Glacé"  to find that site.  Which also had the procedure for whole glacé fruits.

 

Was it this site?

 

I've tried a couple of times, and learned that it doesn't work (at least for me) with jarred or tinned chestnuts. You really do have to peel them yourself...

 

Also, discouragingly, it seems that many chestnut varieties can't be candied. He suggests chatting to your local chestnut producer at the market about which varieties he grows.

 

You've all got a local chestnut producer, right?

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This is a listing of the Chestnut Growers of America, 2021.

I'm pretty sure you can contact them to find out which retailers in your area carry them.  The Chinese chestnuts definitely are not suited for candying, apparently the flesh is too dense to absorb the syrup.

I had excellent results with imports from Italy, from Turkey and the California "colossal" variety and I think growers in other states produce this type, Washington state and Idaho.  Those are the only ones I actually tried.

 

http://www.chestnutgrowers.org/growers.html

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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3 hours ago, andiesenji said:

This is a listing of the Chestnut Growers of America, 2021.

I'm pretty sure you can contact them to find out which retailers in your area carry them.  The Chinese chestnuts definitely are not suited for candying, apparently the flesh is too dense to absorb the syrup.

I had excellent results with imports from Italy, from Turkey and the California "colossal" variety and I think growers in other states produce this type, Washington state and Idaho.  Those are the only ones I actually tried.

 

http://www.chestnutgrowers.org/growers.html

The differences between chestnut varieties is information that I wish I had ten years ago.  We had 6 mature Chinese chestnut trees in our front yard.  I tried several times to candy them.  It never did work.  However, the syrup that resulted was almost worth the effort.  It was truly tasty stuff!

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