Summer’s end brought a very special basket into the kitchen: a harvest of fresh chestnuts from the trees surrounding our netted vegetable garden!
Here in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia, the cool climate is ideal for growing these large shiny nuts, provided the trees receive enough water.
After a very wet summer, the yield was better than average. Boiled, roasted, candied, pureed: we tried many ways to enjoy these versatile gems.
I discovered that with a little encouragement they make a delicate wafer! Do try this recipe at your place, and if they’re out of season you can always use a commercial paste or canned boiled chestnuts instead.
Fresh chestnuts should be large, plump and shiny; wear thick gloves and use a screwdriver to prise them from their spiny husks.
As appetiser accompanied by olives; as entree with fresh figs, bocconcini and prosciutto, with cheese after meal, as a delightful snack any time.