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2014-12-19 17.06.30

Chestnuts are so much part of Christmas fare – chestnuts as a stuffing, whole chestnuts , chestnut jam spread on toast or used as a puree added to ice cream or cream, mixed with puddings or  made into a chestnut tart .

So it is all very well for Nat King Cole to entice us to Roast our chestnuts on an open fire, not to mention Jack Frost nipping at your nose but Nat is hardly concerned about ruining his newly manicured nails at this festive time!

The open fire may be very cosy but peeling the chestnuts after they have been roasted can be hard work on the hands so for those who also wish to preserve their nails at this time of year may I suggest you go for boiling the chestnuts and certainly do this if the they are to be made into jam or puree and not for instant devouring.

In Beryl’s Chestnut Jam recipe  below, she directs you to boil the chestnuts and so this is my additional tip on how to shell your chestnuts which only deviates slightly from her instructions .

Cut the tips  off the both ends of the chestnuts and slit one side.

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Boil for 10 minutes and using slotted spoon haul out a few at a time out of the pan and the shell and brown skin will peel away.


910g (2lb) chestnuts

680g ((1 1/2lb) loaf sugar

285ml (1/2 pint) water

2tsp vanilla essence

Cut and top and bottom; boil till tender; liquidise or crush through coarse sieve;make a syrup of the water, sugar and essence, add chestnuts; cook to firm consistency.

(Absolutely dry storage is essential and it is is not  long-keeping jam, but fun for Christmas)

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2014-12-19 17.10.47



Well this will be my last post for 2014 and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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