Yield: 1 Servings
|Chestnuts (choose the large type)
|Glucose (to prevent sugar from crystallizing)
It is considered nearly impossible to attain the perfection of the Marrons Glaces made by the famous glacier, Faugier, but this recipe produces very adequate and inexpensive ones.
Start 4 days before you want to use them, as that's how long the process takes.
Slit ½ lb. chestnuts down one side and drop them into boiling water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon or wire spatula, and, trying to keep the chestnuts whole, peel off both the outer shell and inner skin, as quickly as you can, while they are still hot. Once cold, the skin begins to adhere to the nut, so keep the unpeeled chestnuts in hot water. Repeat with the rest of the chestnuts, boiling ½ lb. at a time. The broken pieces will taste just as wonderful as the whole chestnuts, so it is worthwhile preserving them, as well.
When all the chestnuts have been shelled, fill a saucepan half full of water with ¼ cup of sugar - bring to boil. Put the chestnuts in carefully, bring to the boil again, then turn the heat down so that the water just barely simmers. Cook the chestnuts until nearly tender. This takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the freshness of the chestnuts, so check occasionally; if overcooked, they tend to break up in the boiling water. Drain and place in an earthenware dish or a saucepan.
Make a syrup with 1½ cups of the sugar, all the glucose and the water; stir, and bring to the boil; cook for 10 minutes. Pour this syrup over the chestnuts, cover with a teacloth and leave overnight or all day.
Drain off the syrup into a saucepan and add ¼ cup sugar; stir, and bring to the boil - cook and cook for 5 minutes. Pour onto the chestnuts and leave overnight or all day, again. Repeat this last procedure 4 more times, every morning and evening, adding 1 tsp. of vanilla the last two times.
Leave the chestnuts in the syrup another half day, turning occasionally, then drain off the syrup, reserving it. Spread the chestnuts out on a dish or rack to dry off. Pick out the small broken pieces, add to the reserved syrup and use as a garnish for desserts such as Nesselrode Pudding or vanilla ice cream.
Pack the chestnuts individually in cellophane or saran wrap; put into little crinkle-edge paper sweet cases, and keep in an airtight container.
If kept more than a week or so, the sugar in the chestnuts may start to crystallize; in this case, it is better to preserve them in their syrup, draining them before use.
Posted to TNT - Prodigy's Recipe Exchange Newsletter by Patricia McGibbony-Mangum <pmangum@...> on Oct 22, 1997