Seasonal Food: Chestnuts

Chestnuts not roasting

On Tuesday 7th December 2010, top Welsh chef Bryn Williams talked about sweet chestnuts as a seasonal ingredient. He highlighted the importance of not mistaking them for horse chestnuts (conkers) which are poisonous and should not be eaten. he then went on to give us this delicious recipe:

Bryn Williams' Spiced Apple and Chestnut Crumble


Spice Mix
12 Apples
200g Roasted Chestnuts (either buy them ready roasted or see bottom of page for easy roasting guide)
1 Vanilla Pod
125g Sugar

For the crumble:

200g Sugar
200g Butter
250g Soft Flour
150g Flaked Almonds


Preheat Oven to 160ºC / 325ºF / Gas Mark 3

Peel and core the apples. Cut 3 apples into small dice, place in a saucepan with the vanilla pod and sugar to taste, cover with water and cook until soft. Then break down the cubes with a fork.
Cut the remaining apples into bite-size pieces and the same with the chestnuts. Season the apples and chestnuts generously with the spice mix.
Pan fry in a warm pan with a knob of butter until the flavours are released, then add to the diced apple in the saucepan. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until all the apples and chestnuts are cooked.

To make the crumble, mix the flour and sugar together. Then add the butter in small amounts by rubbing together with the flour mix until it has a crumbly texture.
Add the flaked almonds and mix through.
Place the crumble mix on a baking tray and cook in a warm oven (160°C) until the mix is golden brown. This will ensure a good crispy crumble topping.

Spoon the cooked apple into shallow bowls and cover with the crumble mix.
Cook in a medium hot oven for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with custard.

How to roast your own chestnuts

Heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cross into the skin of each nut. Put in a roasting tin and bake until the skins open and the insides are tender, about 30 minutes.
To eat, peel away the tough outer skin and the pithy white inner skin to get to the sweet kernel.

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