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Marrons Glacés Recipe

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Marrons Glacés: People occasionally ask for candied chestnuts. Here we go; an easy recipe for home use that calls for marroni, which are the largest, tastiest, and most voluptuous chestnuts. While you can use smaller chestnuts (those Italians call castagne, a word that also means chestnut trees) the visual effect won't be quite the same. To make enough for 6 you'll need:

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings Marrons Glacés

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) marroni
  • 18 ounces (500 g) sugar -- this is a little more than 2 cups
  • 1 quart (liter) of water
  • A vanilla bean (optional)
  • Salt

Preparation:

Peel the chestnuts and add them to a large pot of boiling, lightly salted water. Boil them for about 20 minutes, then remove the pot from the burner, and let the chestnuts steep five minutes more. Remove them one at a time with a slotted spoon, peeling off the thin skin that covers the nuts but being careful not to damage the nuts themselves (they'll be soft). One you have skinned them put them in a broad stainless steel skillet.

Take another pot and dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat. Add the vanilla bean if you are using it, and simmer the syrup, stirring it gently with a wooden spoon, until the syrup thickens somewhat (you want it to remain fairly fluid). Pour the syrup over the chestnuts and simmer them over a very low flame for a half hour, then turn off the flame and let them sit for ten minutes more.

Remove the chestnuts one at a time and arrange them on a serving plate and serve them with unsweetened whipped cream (if you like it). You can also sprinkle them with brandy, or serve them in cups, with a little of their syrup spooned over them.

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