Chestnut jam

Chestnut jam

Marmellata di castagne

By
From
Vegetables
Makes
2kg
Photographer
Laura Edwards

My granny used to make this jam every autumn, and keep it under lock and key, away from the depredations of us children. It was so delicious, we couldn’t resist it, as it tasted almost like minced marrons glacés. The jam didn’t have any special function, apart from being eaten, by the spoonful, from the jar. It is not something to spread on bread, as the texture is too floury. It could be the filling for a sweet ravioli, that would be fried, not boiled – you could use shortcrust pastry as well as pasta dough. And, if you liked, you could serve a mound of jam with some whipped double cream: it’s not very Italian, but it’s delicious none the less!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
salt
1.2kg large fresh chestnuts
2 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla pod
1.25kg caster sugar

Method

  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, and add the chestnuts, along with the bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, and leave to cool.
  2. Remove all the shells from the chestnuts, and as much inner skin as possible. This is fiddly, but needs to be done. Mince the chestnuts in a food processor, then pass through a sieve, to make a very fine and dry purée.
  3. Slit the vanilla pod down the side, and scrape the seeds into a medium pan. Add the pod, the sugar and 200ml of water, and place over a medium heat. Reduce this at a simmer to a syrup, which will take about 20 minutes.
  4. Discard the vanilla pod, then add the chestnut purée to the syrup. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  5. Pour into sterilized jars, and store for up to a month.
Tags:
Carluccio
vegetables
vegetarian
Italian
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