A week ago we went to visit my aunt and while talking about food, holidays, recipes etc., we ended up talking about chestnut spread; the silky, smooth deliciousness we used to have during this time of the year. My aunt mentioned it was on sale at a nearby grocery store and she had bought a bunch. When my sister heard that, she begged me for an entire week to make what we call “crème de marrons”, saying it will taste so much better than the one we usually buy and it doesn’t sound difficult to make. So, with her pushing, she convinced me and I decided to make my first attempt at making chestnut spread. Despite what my sister said, it was surprisingly laborious, but definitely worth it. The hardest and longest process is the peeling of the chestnuts. So if you can find peeled chestnuts, it will be much easier for you to make this recipe. While my sister was helping me peel them she said “Merde! If I knew it was so hard, I never would have asked!” Sorry for swearing, but I had to share it since it makes me smile every time I think about it. Even though it takes time to make the chestnut spread, it’s definitely worth it, and its great as a gift for friends and family too.
- 500g (2 cups) peeled chestnut
- 375g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean (I use Madagascar vanilla beans)
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) water
1. Wash the chestnuts to remove the dust
2. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the flat side of each chestnut. This will help them cook more easily
3. Place the chestnuts in a large deep saucepan and cover with water
4. Boil for 30 minutes or until they are tender
5. Let them cool
6. Once they are cool enough for you to handle them, peel the shells and the skins off the nuts. Make sure to peel them in small batch so they stay warm – it’s much easier
7. Once all the chestnuts are peeled, put them in a food processor until they are almost the consistency of a paste
8. In a big saucepan, poor the powdered sugar, vanilla bean and water. Cook until well mixed
9. Add the chestnut puree and mix well for 10-15 minutes on medium heat
10. Fill your sterilized mason jars with the crème de marrons, put the lids on and turn them upside-down until they are cold
- To sterilize your jars, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan covered with water for 15 minutes.
- Enjoy! You can use it in cakes as I did for our Christmas yule log, on toast or just eat it right from the jar. Yummy!!!