October 21, 2010

Its foraging time of year! And this year seems to be a really good year for chestnuts. I am not talking about conkers but yummy sweet chestnuts. On a recent afternoon out to Windsor Great Park we collected lots and lots, tips for getting good ones are make sure they are big and fat, shiny, feel heavy for their size and don’t rattle when you shake them. Try stepping/squishing the spikey cases under your shoes and picking out the nice fresh chestnuts inside. Unlike conkers their cases are ‘fluffier’ with many more spikes, and inside you get 2 or 3 chestnuts, they are not round, each have a flat side and a little pointed ‘tail’, you can’t eat conkers (horse chestnuts).

Chestnuts can keep uncooked and fresh in the fridge for about a week if you don’t get around to cooking them straight away. You can roast them (very festive!) or boil them. I like to add mine to pies and stews/casseroles or in Christmas stuffing, so I boil them. Cut an X into the flat side so they can expand and this will help you peel them, put them in cold water and bring to the boil then keep them boiling for 3mins, drain and peel as soon as they are cool enough to handle. I bagged mine up into 200g-ish bags and popped them in the freezer they will keep here for ages and I can just tumble them into whatever I need them for. You can puree them, or mash them with a fork to keep some of their nutty texture, but I like to keep mine whole.


3 Responses to “Chestnuts”

  1. Wendy McDonald Says:

    Hi…just found you through Mummy Bloggers. I’ve never thought of foraging for chestnuts! I always buy them for using at Christmas…I think a woodland walk might be in order!!

  2. Kate Says:

    Lovely site and will definitely be following up on this – you’re right loads of conkers and chestnuts this year!

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