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Chestnuts in Syrup

Chestnuts in Syrup
These chestnuts are a delicious accompaniment to many desserts. They pair especially well with chocolate ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1/2 lb. peeled whole chestnuts, fresh or
      vacuum-packed

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using a sharp paring knife, scrape the seeds into the pan, then add the pod. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil.

Add the chestnuts. (If using vacuum-packed nuts, separate them carefully so they don't break apart.) Bring the syrup to a simmer. Simmer until the chestnuts look translucent but are still firm, about 25 minutes for packaged nuts and a little longer for fresh ones. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. The chestnuts will keep for several weeks. Makes 1/2 lb.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, "Ode to the Chestnut," by Fran Gage (Holiday 2001).