If you love my Marrons Glacés, I am sure you will simply adore this easy chestnut jam recipe, or spread, or cream, or however you'd like to call it. A jam by any other name...
What is Chestnut Jam?
The buttery meat of the chestnuts is the main ingredient, normally flavoured with aromatic vanilla and sometimes with a little bit of lemon zest.
Its flavour is exceptional. It might be the first time you've heard of this; once you try it, believe me, you will be going back for more! This tasty cream is brilliant in desserts or even just by itself on a piece of toast for the perfect autumnal Italian-inspired breakfast.
Let's make Chestnut Spread!
It is super easy to make. If you want to boil your chestnuts at home of course you can, but I would advise you to buy already-cooked chestnuts, to reduce timings and make it even easier.
Here are the ingredients:
This recipe makes more or less 850g of chestnut spread.
- 1.5 kilos of chestnuts (you can use already-cooked chestnuts)
- 300g sugar (adjust depending on how ripe and sweet your chestnuts are)
- 200 ml of water
- 1/2 scraped Vanilla pod (or 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract)
- a pinch of salt
- Lemon zest (optional)
-After boiling or buying pre-cooked chestnuts, you can use a potato masher, a potato ricer or a blender to obtain a smooth puree.
-In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar, the scraped vanilla seeds and the husk of the vanilla pod. If you're using extract, add it towards the end of the process.
-Let this mixture cook on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes or until the sugar dissolves completely, and then remove the vanilla pod and add the chestnut puree.
-Stir them together with a wooden spoon until well combined and put the saucepan back on the heat. Keep cooking for about one hour, stirring occasionally, or until the mixture has thickened and is lovely and creamy.
And that’s it! Now you can transfer the chestnut cream to a jar, and it will keep in your fridge for about a week.
Will the chestnut cream keep longer?
If you want to keep it for longer, you can store it in vacuum-sealed jars, from 6 to 12 months at room temperature, away from light. To do so, pour the still-hot chestnut cream into sterilised jars, leaving at least a 1-centimetre gap from the lid; a bigger gap would not be a problem, don’t worry!
The heat from the cream will create the vacuum seal. You can test it at the moment of opening the jar: if the vacuum seal was successful, the lid will make a sucking noise when opened. If you don’t hear that, it’s best not to consume the cream after that long.
For a richer flavour, you can buy fresh chestnuts and boil them in milk instead of water. If you would like to add a boozy note, you can flavour the cream with a splash of liquor, like cognac or rum.
Make it savoury?
If you reduce the amount of sugar, you could also obtain a delicious spread to use in savoury dishes. Perhaps something like bruschette with chestnut spread and melted cheese.
You’ll have to try this delicious chestnut jam recipe and let me know what you think. In the meantime, you can treat yourself to a box of our scrumptious caramelised chestnuts Marrons Glaces or our traditional artisan-made Lavolio chocolates. A modern twist on sugared almonds, the perfect chocolate gift set for any lover of Italian confectionery.