Creamy and sweet boiled chestnuts is one of the most delicious and easy fall snacks you can make at home. They are also frequently used as an ingredients in many other recipes, both sweet and savory.
In Italian boiled chestnuts are called Castagne Bollite.
Boiling method is probably one of the easiest ways, and also the quickest one.
But if it's your first time boiling chestnuts, read this carefully.
There are some must-know myths, facts and tricks you don't want to miss so boiling chestnuts will NOT drive you nuts!
Recipe In A Nutshell
- Wash chestnuts under tap water. Discard any moldy chestnuts or those with holes.
- Score chestnuts with a small sharp knife or a chestnut knife.
- Drop in boiling water.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- Peel while steel warm.
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
What do boiled chestnuts taste like?
Boiled chestnuts have a rich buttery taste and a creamy consistency.
Compared to roasted chestnuts they're softer and have milder flavor.
Boiled chestnuts will also absorb the flavor and taste of the aromatic herbs that you choose to boil them with.
- Fresh chestnuts
- Flavorings (optional) - boiled chestnuts will absorb a slight flavor of any herbs you boil the with. Some of the best pairings are bay leaf, rosemary, thyme. Optionally you can also add some salt. Orange or lemon zest is also worth trying, especially for sweet preparations.
How To Boil Chestnuts - Step By Step
Step 1: Wash and select chestnuts
- Bring a pot filled with water to a boil.
- In the meantime rinse and slightly rub chestnuts under tap water.
Step 2: Score
Using a pairing knife or a chestnut knife make a long slit cut across the rounded side of a chestnut trying not to cut too deep into the nut.
The easiest way to do it is to hold the chestnut with your fingers. You’ll get a better grip and control over a chestnut and can rotate it easily to make that long cut all across the rounded side.
PAY ATTENTION: If for any reason it doesn’t feel safe, hold chestnut in place on a cutting board flat side down and perform the cut (not applicable if you're using a chestnut knife!)
Step 3: Cook in boiling water
Carefully drop scored chestnuts in a pot with boiling water. Add salt, bay leaves or other flavorings (optional).
Reduce the heat to low. Cook on gentle simmer for 25-35 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of chestnuts. The large the nuts more time it need to be cooked.
To test, take out one chestnut at 25 minute mark and cut it open. If the pulp is soft and creamy chestnuts are done. If not let cook for another 5-10 minutes and taste again.
Step 4: Remove from the water and peel
Once ready, turn the heat off. Take out a few chestnuts at a time and remove the pulp. Keep the rest in the warm water until their turn.
Peel Boiled Chestnuts - 2 Easy Ways
Contrary to the popular belief, you should NOT remove the peel from the chestnut, but rather remove the pulp from the shell.
The main reason is that boiled chestnuts break in pieces, so removing the peel takes more effort but won't guarantee the whole chestnut. If you need to use chestnuts in other recipes, crumbled or not, you'll be able to use chestnuts equally well.
If you made a long slit cut as shown above you can simply open the chestnut in half and squeeze the pulp out using your fingers.
Alternatively use a small coffee spoon to scoop the pulp out this way.
Peel chestnuts while they’re still warm.
PAY ATTENTION: You can try to reduce breakage slightly by scoring chestnuts with an X-cut instead of a slit cut.
You might get a few whole chestnuts out, but most will break anyway. So to me, it's not worth it. But you decide for yourself.
How To Store
- In the fridge: Boiled and peeled chestnuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- In the freezer: In the same way chestnuts can be frozen and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How To Boil Chestnuts - Myths, Facts & The Best Technique
- Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.In the meantime rinse fresh chestnuts under tap water discarding any moldy chestnuts of chestnuts with holes.
- Using a small sharp knife make a long slit cut of the round side of each chestnut.
- Transfer chestnuts to a large pot with boiling water. Add bay leaves and a drop of olive oil.
- Cook on low heat for 25-35 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of chestnuts. The large the nuts more time it need to be cooked.
- To test, take out one chestnut at 25 minute mark and taste. If the pulp is soft and creamy chestnuts are done. If not let cook for another 5-10 minutes and taste again.
- Once ready, turn the heat off. Take out a few chestnuts at a time and peel. Keep the rest in the warm water until ready to peel.
There you have it, nutty, mushy and butterly, delicious boiled chestnuts made at home.
Did you make this recipe or any other recipe on the blog?
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