The Black Jewels Of Fall - Basic Chesnuts Simmered In Their Inner Skins

The Black Jewels Of Fall - Basic Chesnuts Simmered In Their Inner Skins

Chestnuts simmered in their inner skins may seem difficult to make, but the basics are simple. Even beginners can make delicious chestnuts in ther inner skins.

Ingredients: 1 kg of chestnuts worth

1 kg with their shells on
500 g
Bicarbonate of soda
15 g - or 30 g if the inner skins are thick


1. Wash the chestnuts lightly, and discard any that have holes in them. Put the chestnuts in an enamelled or stainless pot with plenty of water. Discard any chestnuts that float to the surface too.
2. If you cover the chestnuts with water in the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, they'll become easier to peel. You can skip this step though.
3. Good chestnuts have thin shells so be careful. Cut in between the smooth part and the rough textured part on the bottom of the chestnut, then peel off towards the top.
4. Here is a peeled chestnut. They always have one thick fiber, but that will be dealt with later so don't worry about it now.
5. Soak the chestnuts in water after they are peeled. If they dry out they may split easily. Put the chestnuts in a pot with enough water to cover plus 5 to 10 g of bicarbonate of soda, and heat.
6. When the pot comes to a boil, lower the heat to low-medium, or enough so that the chestnuts don't dance around in the water. Some foamy scum will rise to the surface - skim if off immediately.
7. After the chestnuts are simmered, pour off the water gently so as not to break up the chestnuts (you can use a colander for this for just the first round) and rinse under running water. Wash out the pot at this time too.
8. Take each chestnut in your hand, and remove the thick fiber gently with a toothpick or something, and rub off any fine fibers gently with your fingers. If you skip this step the chestnuts will retain their tannic quality, so do this carefully.
9. Repeat steps 5 to 8 three times, always handling the chestnuts gently. Then add water only to the chestnuts, bring to a boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes or so to remove the bicarbonate of soda taste. Do this 1 to 2 times.
10. Put the chestnuts from Step 9 in a pot with enough water to cover t hem. Turn on the heat, and add the sugar in 2 to 3 batches. Bring to a boil, cover with a piece of kitchen parchment paper to act as a drop lid or otoshibuta, and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.
11. Leave the chestnuts to cool down in the pot, and they're done. To give the chestnuts a shine, just take them out and simmer the syrup only to reduce it. Or to do this even more easily, just add some premade sugar syrup. You can easily freeze the chestnuts, too.
12. You will always have some broken or malformed chestnuts! See this recipe for making an authentic chestnut cream with them. Recipe ID: 2359338.

Story Behind this Recipe

My father in law gives us a lot of chestnuts every year, so this is a standard fall recipe for me.
After many years of simplifying my work process, I've settled on this method and ingredients.
You can use swap out 100 g of the regular sugar for dark brown sugar, too.