Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chestnut Jam

Chestnut Jam

4 pounds fresh unshelled chestnuts
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup mild-flavored honey
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Cut an X on the flat side of each chestnut and roast the nuts on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 oven for 45 minutes, or until the shells have pulled back from the incisions and the flesh can be easily pierced with a skewer. Let the chestnuts cool until they can be handled. Remove the shell and the papery inner skin, trying to keep the nuts whole.  In a preserving pan combine the brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is melted. Add the honey and the vanilla bean and bring the mixture just to a boil. Add the chestnuts and simmer them for 15 minutes, or until they start to break up.  Remove the vanilla bean and with a slotted spoon transfer 1 cup of the chestnuts to a bowl. process the remaining mixture in a food processor until smooth and combine the puree with the whole chestnuts.  Spoon the jam into jars and seal the jars. Process the jars in a boiling water bath: 10 minutes for 1-pint jars, 15 minutes for 1-quart jars. Let cool completely before checking the seals and storing.  Makes 1 quart.

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