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.

knifechestnut

opened chestnut

peeledchestnut

parchmentsideways

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