Recipe: Chestnuts in Cointreau & Orange Syrup

Chestnuts In Contreau 540X300

Makes 1.5kg  -  Prep 30/40 minutes  -  Cook 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg chestnuts in shells, or 800g prepared chestnuts (vacuum-packed or from a jar)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 250g each granulated and light brown sugar
  • 100ml Cointreau

How to make

  • To peel the chestnuts, cut a nick in each one on the flat side. Put 6 on a plate and microwave for 1 min on High. Then, wearing rubber gloves, peel off the outer skin and inner brown membrane. Continue until all the chestnuts are peeled. (If you don't have a microwave, you can roast the chestnuts in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 15-20 mins.) Put them in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 mins. Drain well.
  • Pare thin strips of zest from the orange using a vegetable peeler. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways. Put the orange strips, vanilla pod, sugars and 400ml water in a pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for about 15 mins until syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cointreau.
  • Pack the prepared chestnuts into sterilised jars (see below) and pour over the syrup to cover. Seal the jars. The chestnuts will keep in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

Spoon these over ice cream, or a mixture of whipped cream and sweetened mascarpone.