No winter is complete without roast chestnuts, a deliciously fragrant snack that will add a festive touch to your home.
The secret to a delicious chestnut roast is not in the roasting time or the temperature, but in the preparation. The first and most important step is to buy the chestnuts: preferably at the market, choose the largest, hardest, and brightest kernels you can find, and make sure they are not too light and don’t have holes, as this would indicate that they are infected with worms.
Once you have the perfect chestnuts, it’s time to soak them. As soon as you get home from the market, place them in enough water to cover them and leave them in the water for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. If the chestnuts raise to the top of the water, they are probably wormy, so you should throw them out.
Once softened, the chestnut shells are easy to cut into. Cut an x into the convex side of each chestnut with a sharp knife; this will open up nicely in the oven and the shells will be easier to peel. Now you can start roasting.
Once you’ve soaked and cut the chestnuts, they should be easy to peel, but be sure to peel them while they’re still warm, as they will be a little harder to peel once they have cooled. If you’ve made a large batch of chestnuts and can’t peel them all straight away, wrap the chestnuts in a tea towel while they’re still hot. The steam will soften them further and you’ll be able to peel them easily later.
1 kg chestnuts
Soak the chestnuts in water for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
The next day, cut the convex sides crosswise.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
Place the chestnuts with their cut side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Roast them in the oven for 25-30 minutes, when they smell nice and the crust is puffy, they are ready.