Marron Glacé is a French treat! In the U.S. we would call these little guys Candied Chestnuts. They are good but kind of have a weird texture. Honestly, I will probably not be making these again…..
I work accross the street from a farmers market. They sell local and in season fruits and vegetables. So, being the crazy hard core partier that I am, I decided to visit the farmers market after work on a Friday night just to see what kind of baking trouble I could get myself into for the weekend. It smelled so good as I entered the building. The scent of fresh apples permeated me. Huge cardboard boxes held 23 different varieties of apples. I began to peruse the bins when something in a dark corner of the room caught my eye. I had to get a closer look and so I abandoned the beautiful array of apples to find a large pile of nuts. Chestnuts to be exact. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever had a chestnut before’, I thought. And so began my project for the weekend. I would buy some of these nuts and figure out what to do with them.
I took them home and by the end of the night I found a recipe for something called Morran Glacé. Apparently people in France go crazy for them during the holidays. If these were so amazing I had to try figure out how to make them. The only problem with this recipe is that it would take me four days to complete.
Saturday morning I got up and prepared the first phase of my Marron Glacé recipe. Now I just had to wait 12 hours to start the second phase.
Four days later I was done.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I probably won’t be making these again. With as much work that went into them I thought that angels would be singing to me as I took my first bite. Not so much….. However I am glad that I tried it.
Recipe is as follows:
2 lbs of chestnuts, shells removed
2 lbs bakers sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 vanilla bean
In a large saucepan, cover the chestnuts with the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 8 minutes. Discard the water and removed the brown inner skins. In a large saucepan cook the water, sugar and vanilla bean over low heat until the sugar devolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add chestnuts and increase the heat bringing it to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and cover with cheesecloth.
Let stand for 12 hours.
After 12 hours return mixture to a large saucepan and boil for one minute.
Let stand for 24 hours.
Repeat this process 3 more times for a total of 4 one minute boils.
After the last boil, preheat the oven to 150F. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and cover the wire rack with parchment paper. Place the chestnuts on the paper and bake them for 2 hours with the oven door slightly open. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an airtight container lines with the parchment for up to two weeks.